$16.6 billion — yes, billion — has been wagered in first year of mobile sports betting in New York

The first sports bets using a mobile phone in New York — legally, that is — were placed on Jan. 8, 2022, and in the year since, the dollar amounts are staggering but not surprising.

Humans gambling on sports has been around since the advent of sports, and probably humans, too.

Still, even to the crowd who long ago knew “teasers” weren’t just jokes or a hairstyle, and that “parlay” is more than pirates’ code, and that the annoying little half-point that makes or breaks so many bets is known as “the hook,” the actual numbers continue to fly right by expectations.

Here’s a look at the numbers through the first 366 days, as reported by the nine licensed and operating sportsbooks to the New York State Gaming Commission:

“In just one year, New York has become a national leader in providing responsible entertainment for millions while bringing in record-shattering revenue for education, youth sports, and problem gambling prevention,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news release. “I look forward to another year of delivering top tier mobile sports wagering experiences that generate revenue to enrich the lives of New Yorkers across the state.”

follow the money

The total handle represents the amount of money bet. So, for example, if you bet $10 on a game and win, then you bet that same $10 on another game, while it may seem like the same $10 to you, it’s really $20 in money being bet.

The gross gaming revenue, or GGR, represents the difference in the amount of money bet and the amount won by bettors. If a sportsbook takes in $100,000 in bets and pays out $43,000 in winning bets, then its GGR would be $57,000. It does not reflect operating expenses, so don’t equate GGR with a sportsbook’s profit.

New York State taxes the GGR at 51%, with that money collected considered net revenue for education. When drafting the legislation to legalize mobile sports betting, New York also earmarked $6 million of that money to be distributed for problem gambling education and treatment annually, with another $5 million set aside for youth sports activities and education grant program for underserved youth. The rest of the money goes to fund educational aid.

The remaining 49% of the GGR is the net revenue for sportsbooks.

(Future bets are taxed as current revenue, with payouts on winning bets accounted for in the period they are redeemed.)

The monthly numbers

This should come as no surprise, but we’ll spell it out here anyway: Americans love their NFL. The six most watched TV broadcasts in the US in 2022 were NFL games. Going further down that Nielsen list, the NFL accounted for 19 of the top 20 and 82 of the top 100 spots on the list.

But how does that pertain to sports betting in New York?

The bar chart below shows the total handle each month in 2022. You may notice that five of the six tallest green bars coincide with the NFL schedule. The lone outlier was March, the tentpole month for college basketball with its NCAA tournaments.

Based on total handle, betting interest has not slowed down as the novelty wore off and the over-the-top promotions from sportsbooks slowed. Rather, that dip shown above reflects more of the sporting calendar, with little to no NFL, NHL, NBA and NCAA events from June through August.

What the state projected

In Gov. Hochul’s executive budget plan for the fiscal year 2023, the state listed its projections for revenue from mobile sports betting. (The fiscal year goes from April to March.)

  • fiscal year 2022: $249 million
    • Actual revenue: $363,614,689
    • Both numbers included the $200 million in already collected license fees
  • fiscal year 2023: $357 million
    • Through December 2022, the state has earned $529,509,531.
  • fiscal year 2024: $465 million
  • fiscal year 2025: $493 million
  • fiscal year 2026: $509 million
  • fiscal year 2027: $518 million

Which sportsbooks saw the most action this year?

Consuming sports content on any platform in New York, whether you are reading or watching or listening, is next to impossible to do without being exposed to betting advertisements. Whether it’s JB Smoove dressed as Caesar playing charades with the Manning family, or Kevin Hart talking to an inflatable pink flamingo floating in a pool, or Barry Sanders so deep into a pickleball game that he ignores Jamie Foxx on the phone, they’re all competing for your dollars — and are willing to offer you some dollars back now to get you to keep giving them your dollars later. Such incentives include “no-sweat bets” where you get your money back if your bet loses (often in the form of a free bet), to boosted odds and deposit matches.

That all becomes part of the handle, ie the amount of money bet on sporting events. Here’s how much money each of the nine licensed sportsbook operators in New York state have taken in bets in the first year:

FanDuel handled the most amount of money in bets and had the highest GGR at $666,163,854. By default, they also paid the most money in taxes to the state at $339,743,566. When looking at GGR as a percentage of total handle, FanDuel was also highest at 9.97%. The next closest was DraftKings at 7.73%.

Explore the full data

The searchable database below will allow you to look at each sportsbook’s full set of numbers, as reported to the New York State Gaming Commission, since they began operating. The data begins in monthly format, the columns are sortable and you can search by specific sportsbook.

(This database reflects through December 2022, and does not include the first eight days of 2023)

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