By STEVE BITTENBENDER
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — The first 30 days of mobile sports betting in New York generated a total handle of nearly $2 billion.
That’s according to a statement that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office issued this week.
Mobile apps began going live statewide Jan. 8, and the opening weeks of activity have set records for legal wagering. New York is the largest state population-wise that currently allows sports betting.
Data from Gov. Hochul’s office shows New Yorkers have bet $600 million on football, $540 million on basketball and $80 million on hockey.
Those figures do not include all wagers from Sunday’s Super Bowl. That information is scheduled to be released Friday, when the Gaming Commission releases handle and revenue totals from the week prior.
The $1.98 billion in wagering, through last weekend, has led seven sports betting operators to report $138 million in gross gaming revenue. The state taxes revenues at 51%, meaning it has taken in $70.6 million in the first month.
Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow, the Mount Vernon, N.Y., Democrat who chairs the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering, said the state is “well on the way to being the sports betting capital of the world.”
“I’m happy the Gaming Commission proceeded with haste to get the determination of the operators in place two weeks earlier than anticipated,” Assemblymember Pretlow added.
Officials initially projected the state would generate $49 million in tax revenue for the 2021-22 fiscal year that ends March 31. That’s in addition to the $200 million in licensing fees the state received after the New York State Gaming Commission approved the betting late last year.
“Over the past month, we’ve seen how mobile sports wagering can be an economic engine for New York, driving significant funding to our schools, youth sports, and so much more,” Gov. Hochul said in a statement. “As this new industry continues to grow, New York will make sure we have the resources and guidelines in place to make it a success for all.”
For the current fiscal year, 98% of the tax revenue will go toward education.