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BETTING & FANTASY

What We Learned From the First Weekend of New York Sports Betting

Did football steal all the spotlight? Did tax rates lessen any of the fun? Did BetRivers get some love? Boardroom has your top takeaways from New York’s sports betting launch.

The past week has been a whirlwind in the state of New York, as the launch of mobile sports betting came not just ahead of schedule, but without much advance notice whatsoever. And through the first few days of action, we saw sportsbooks take in incredible sums amounts of money as registrations and logins flew in at ridiculous rates.

Now that you’ve read Boardroom’s guide to sports betting in the Empire State, let’s put into context what we saw on Saturday and Sunday as New York residents finally got signed up and ready to wager.

Betting Volume

That’s right, we saw volume — lots of it. GeoComply, which is a location verification service used by New York’s sportsbooks, recorded 5.8 million location checks — that’s when your chosen app verifies you’re in a legal betting state — within the first 12 hours of mobile action, and in total saw a “legendary” 17 million verification requests in the first 36 hours.

Caesars said it had taken its millionth bet in the state of New York on Monday morning; Wagers’ Ryan Butler estimated 10 million total bets and roughly $4.1 million in retail revenue based on available data.

Considering New Jersey sportsbooks were pulling around $2.5 million per day last year, the fact that the state is already around $2 million per day on average is impressive. It also means the state should pull more money in tax revenue online in no time than it ever did from its retail sportsbooks, which generated just $3.7 million over the last two and a half years.

Butler’s got some interesting estimated figures below:

Is BetRivers Becoming a Player?

While many bettors in New York were familiar with DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars prior to launch, BetRivers was a relative unknown. Despite the fact that they came up short of the prior three as expected, they still made their mark on the state.

BetRivers, which is owned by licensed operator Rush Street Interactive, reported $970,381 wagered on Saturday in New York, and with their $250 deposit match deal, it’s no wonder why users decided to give then a spin. While these numbers would indicate the book is only taking in around 1-2% of the handle in the state, it’s still something to worth noticing.

You Can’t Bet on Everything

It was known prior to launch that certain events would be omitted from the state’s legal sportsbooks, but we got a look at just how many offerings were properly live this weekend. While the likes of tennis and European soccer were easily found on the books, certain lower-level tennis tournaments (and even one main ATP-level one) weren’t available for betting on FanDuel in New York.

In addition, several obscure international soccer leagues, the Africa Cup of Nations, and cricket weren’t offered to New York customers, either.

One thing we already knew going in, however? That New Yorkers would not be able to bet on events featuring colleges and universities located within the state.

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Prices Weren’t Exorbitant

The state of New York is taking 51% of all revenue for tax purposes — the highest rate in the nation among states with multiple licensed operators — which immediately led bettors to question just what kinds of lines would be offered on the four legal sportsbooks. While was a plethora of “free” bets offered across all books like “The Knicks to score 1+ point,” the spreads, totals, and props were right in line with what New Jersey, a sportsbook-friendly state in terms of their tax rate, was offering.

It’s not a sure bet (no pun intended) that this will continue, but early on, there’s some promise.

Football is (Still) King

Folks like their football.

At BetRivers, $500,231 of the $970,381 wagered on Saturday came in on football, which would make up just over half of the handle. At Caesars, twice as many bets came in on Saturday’s Week 18 NFL matchups than any other event, excluding its Knicks-Celtics “Super Boost,” which was basically a free shot at $50. FanDuel also reported the NFL as its most-bet sport across the entire weekend.

Of note, FanDuel said the most bets in New York came on the following (in this order):

  1. Football
  2. Basketball
  3. Hockey
  4. Soccer
  5. Tennis

While baseball promises to knock out one of these five sports, you can be assured that New Yorkers like their tennis. As the Australian Open approaches, that’s a subplot worth following.

What Was the First Mobile Sports Bet in New York?

New Yorkers like the Beautiful Game, too.

The first legal bet placed on mobile Saturday came via Caesars Sportsbook: a $20, five-leg parlay which would have paid out over $233:

  • Barcelona -155
  • Bayer Leverkusen -140
  • RB Leipzig -145
  • Hoffenheim -215
  • Borussia Dortmund -123

Unfortunately, the Bundesliga-heavy bet lost.

FanDuel’s first, meanwhile, was a winner — a simple $21 straight bet on the over (43.5 points) in the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game on Saturday night.

DraftKings, meanwhile, took in another losing bet thanks to the Chiefs failing to cover the very first leg of this massive six-team parlay:

Well, that’s why they play the games.

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