More than 1 Million Mobile Bettors Sign Up in New York, Most as First-Timers

More than 1 Million Mobile Bettors Sign Up in New York, Most as First-Timers
© USA Today

The majority of the more than 1 million New York mobile sports betting accounts have come from people who are new to legal sports betting.

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Of the 1.2 million accounts set up since mobile wagering began Jan. 8 statewide, 770,840, or 87.8%, are “brand new to regulated online sports betting,” according to GeoComply.

The Vancouver, Canada-based company, which provides geolocation compliance and fraud-security services, has never seen this many new accounts, according to a GeoComply news release.

“The data tell us that New Yorkers are dumping illegal sportsbooks for the new legal options, and operators are also excelling at attracting first-time bettors,” said Lindsay Slader, GeoComply’s managing director of gaming.

New York Bettors Stay In-State to Wager on Sports

Figures that GeoComply compiled from Jan. 8-17 in New York show that only 9.3% of Empire State bettors have crossed the state line into New Jersey to wager on sports.

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In previous months, an estimated 20% of New Jersey’s nation-leading sports-betting handle has come from New Yorkers crossing the state line to use their smartphones in placing bets.

GeoComply said the New York numbers have eased “cannibalization concerns” among those who feared New Jersey would see a substantial falloff once mobile wagering began next door in New York, the nation’s fourth most-populous state.

“New Jersey is unfazed,” GeoComply stated, averaging 12.6 million geolocation transactions “the two weekends before the New York launch and 13.1 million the two weekends since launch.”

NFL Games Boost Mobile Wagering Figures

Mobile sports betting’s Jan. 8 launch in New York coincided with the final full weekend of NFL games, with some games having playoff implications. Games in the NFL are the most heavily wagered sporting events in the country.

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Two days after the launch, the College Football National Championship game also presented a popular betting opportunity. The Georgia Bulldogs defeated another SEC school in that game, the No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide.

That weekend was seen as beneficial to the first four online bookmakers allowed to offer mobile bets in the state. Those were Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and BetRivers.

The advantages to being first appear to have shown up in the number of bettors remaining loyal to a single mobile sportsbook. So far, the accounts per player average out to 1.36.

Total Transactions Go Up for Week 1 to Week 2

After the first four were up and running, a fifth operator, BetMGM New York Sportsbook, received the OK to begin accepting mobile bets.

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BetMGM’s approval came in time for the Monday night playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. The Rams defeated the visiting Cardinals, 34-11.

This past weekend, New York’s 17.9 million geolocation transactions topped the launch weekend’s total of 17.2 million.

Four More Mobile Bookmakers Awaiting State Approval

The New York State Gaming Commission has authorized four additional online bookmakers to operate in the state, but those four are awaiting regulatory and statutory approval before they can turn on the switch. These are BallyBet, WynnBet, PointsBet and Genting’s Resorts World.

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If the complete list of authorized online bookmakers is operational by the upcoming weekend, all nine will be able to capitalize on another major slate of NFL playoff games.

These games include a matchup featuring the only New York team in this season’s title hunt, the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills are traveling to Kansas City to face the Chiefs on Sunday. The Chiefs are favored by 2 points, according to Caesars Sportsbook New York. The over/under opened at 54.5 combined points but now is at 55.

New York is Largest State With Sports Betting

With a population of about 20 million residents, New York is the most populous state in the nation with legal sports betting. Sports betting is illegal in the three states with larger populations — California, Texas and Florida.

New York City alone has more than 8.4 million residents. It is the largest metropolitan area in the nation.

Sports betting is legal inside upstate casinos in New York, but the nearest one to the Big Apple is about 100 miles away, making mobile wagering an attractive option for bettors in the city.