There were some happy sports betting operators this past weekend, as New York online sports betting finally launched. One of the most coveted markets in the country, New York is the fourth-most populous state with an estimate 19.5 million residents, plus loads who commute to the state for work every day. It ranks behind only California, Texas, and Florida, but none of those have legal online sports betting.
Four operators went live at 9:00am Saturday: BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook. No surprises there. Of those, BetRivers was the only one that didn’t have its mobile product ready to go immediately, though customers could still place wagers in their web browsers.
Five more operators are on the way, but are still waiting for approval from the New York State Gaming Commission: Bally Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, Resorts World, and WynnBet. These operators are still working on meeting the requirements set forth by the commission and will be green-lit on a rolling basis.
Sports bettors shouldn’t see anything unusual in their experience wagering in the Empire State. All the normal bet types are permitted, such as props, parlays, point spread, moneyline, and more. College sports bets are allowed, except for games played in the state or involving New York-based schools, even if those games are played in another state.
Aside from the pure size of New York’s market, one of the big deals with Saturday’s launch is that it will surely draw bettors from New Jersey, which has been the hottest sports betting state in the country. FanDuel has previously said that up to a quarter of its New Jersey accounts are from addresses in New York.
Overall, it New York’s first online sports betting weekend was a rousing success. According to Legal Sports Report, GeoComply reported 5.8 million geolocation “pings” in the first 12 hours, meaning the number of bets or logins. There were 17.2 million pings over the entire weekend.
New York City’s five boroughs had more than 8 million pings, more than any state.
Caesars said it took in almost a million bets, which is incredible, though that kind of volume did cause problems. The company’s systems were not prepared for that kind of demand, resulting in multiple outages, including a three-hour dead period on Sunday.
It is up in the air as to which operator took the first bet. DraftKings reported its first mobile bet at 9:01am, a six-team parlay in which the bettor risked $15 to win $1,430.45. It was a losing bet, missing two of the legs and pushing one. Caesars’ first bet was a five-leg parlay on European soccer. It appears, if I’m reading the scores correctly, that it won, though it was shortened to a three-leg as two of the games were ties.
The first wager on BetRivers was $500 on the Denver Broncos to beat the Kansas City Chiefs – oops. On FanDuel, the first bet was $21 on the Dallas Cowboys to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, which was a winner.