After a slump in sports betting revenue in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things are starting to look up in the state of New York again as far as sports betting is concerned. The latest numbers released by the New York State Gaming Commission suggests a substantial spike of just over 23% in the revenue generated for the Month of May 2021 when compared with the prior month of April 2021. The total revenue generated by licensed and regulated New York sportsbooks was a whopping $1.6m in May.
While the month-on-month comparison gives us a clear indication of growth in the market size, a year-on-year comparison is not feasible at this time considering that all four of New York’s land based casinos that offer betting on sports were shut as part of efforts to contain the pandemic.
There are four casinos in New York which offers legal sports betting to the general public, and they were forced to shut their doors for a major part of 2020, right from March 2020 to September 2020. In September of 2020, the casinos were allowed to function again, but there were many Covid-19 restrictions in place. This coupled with public hesitancy to rush back to establishments like commercial casinos meant that the slump in revenue continued almost till the end of 2020.
As far as the current financial year is concerned (starting April 1st), the revenue roped in so far by New York’s four commercial casinos has summed up to $2.9m (as of May 2021 end) which is an encouraging sign of things improving.
It should be noted that these numbers are only drawn from New York sportsbooks. The report that New York State Gaming Commission has published does not encompass revenue roped in from sports betting handles, tribal operators or USA online casinos that offer online sports betting as part of their services.
Numbers for each of New York’s four main Casinos
When we breakdown the sports betting revenue for May of 2021 and look at how much each one of the four commercial sportsbooks generated, the gap between 1st place and 4th place is conspicuously huge. Having generated $641,102 in revenue for May 2021, Rivers Casino and Resort by Rush Street located in Schenectady secured top position.
The second biggest player in the sports betting market of New York turned out to be The del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo which generated $555,855 in revenue. The del Lago Resort and Casino offers sports betting to their consumers courtesy of a DraftKings powered sportsbook.
In third place is Resorts World Catskills that was able to generate $307,607 in sports betting revenue. The resort is located in Monticello, New York, which is in close proximity to Manhattan and is surrounded by the picturesque Catskill Mountains. This operator reported the biggest turn around on a month-on-month basis after having reported a loss of $7,747 in the month of April 2021.
The smallest piece of the pie was consumed by Tioga Downs Casino which is located in Nichols, New York. This casino operates everyday of the week from 9am to 3am and has recently dropped the mask mandate for players who are fully vaccinated. They use a FanDuel powered sportsbook for their sports wagering. Tioga Downs casino generated a sports betting revenue of $85,550 for the month of May 2021.
New York entered its phase 4 of unlocking on July 20th. At this time, public casinos are allowed to operate at full capacity. Players who are vaccinated don’t need to mask up either.
The latest scoop on Mobile Sports Betting in New York
In 2013, courtesy of the New York Economic Gaming Act, the State legalized and regulated land-based sports betting. However, the federal law still did not allow it at that time. As of July 2019, the first legal and regulated sportsbook in New York was launched and offered by Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady. There are now four legal, commercial sportsbooks in New York including the Rivers Casino and Resort.
The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, was against online sports betting at one point in time. However, in light of the massive blow that the economy has been dealt with due to the COVID-19 pandemic which ravaged New York in 2020, he has changed sides and is now a proponent of the legalization of online sports betting.
The New York State Assembly, in March, issued their yearly budget proposal and it contained facilitations for legalization and regulation of mobile sports betting. After plenty of back and forth between the Governor and other parties as to which online sports betting model to take up, Governor Cuomo emerged victorious in the arguments and the latest legislation now suggests that a state-operated online sports betting model will be adopted.
At this point in time, sports bettors in New York can still only place bets at land based facilities. However, it does seem likely that New Yorkers will be able to take up sports bets on their mobiles in time for the next Super Bowl if the bill is expedited and passed for the sake of reviving the economy.