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New York sports betting booms as the state opens mobile gambling market

Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer details the data shared by DraftKings and other betting platforms following New York state's legalization of sports gambling.

Video Transcript


AKIKO FUJITA: Well from a $15 bet to a near 1 and 1/2 million dollar payout, sports fans in New York showed up in a big way to place their first legal online sports wagers. Josh Schafer joins us to break down the latest DraftKings data that kind of points to-- we were expecting this as a huge market, a lot of enthusiasm. Certainly no coincidence that this fell on the last weekend for regular season action in the NFL.

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, Akiko. I mean, it was a big weekend for sports gambling in New York. And I'll get to the DraftKings data in a second. But I'm going to start with just kind of what we saw overall from the state across the four different mobile sports betting apps that opened up. So you had Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, of course, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive.

And GeoComply, what sort of tracks these numbers, and they track the different locations that people are signing up for betting, saw that New York, in the first 12 hours, had 5.8 million-- you could basically consider it 5.8 million users, right? And that's more than double what Pennsylvania had, which was the next closest and more than double and triple and so on and so forth of the other different states.

This is, of course, as we talked about last week, because New York is the biggest market that's opened up yet. New York has 7 million more residents, about 7 million more residents than Pennsylvania. So it's just kind of bringing in a huge state to the market. And I think we saw that this weekend as people had anticipated.

One more GeoComply stat is 7.2 million people overall or million geolocations were tracked throughout the weekend, so combining Saturday and Sunday, which is a huge number, and easily the biggest number that they've ever seen from a solo state.

Now, what DraftKings saw specifically, I think, shows us where maybe this is headed over the next month and kind of the areas to walk. So DraftKings saw 60% of all the bets were on the NFL, with 46% of the overall money of that handle going on NFL games. Nine of the 10 most bet sports teams were NFL teams. Five of the 10 most bet games were football games. One of those is tonight's college Football National Championship.

And then eight of the most bet on players were NFL players. So really, what we're seeing is, of course, in the US, it's not shocking, right? People are really interested in betting on the NFL and betting on football, which is going to be big for the next month, and then it goes away for a while. So where do those users go? Do they like those deals that they hit on that they made a bunch of money on and they just start going to different sports? Or do they kind of maybe save their wallet for a little bit?

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, and obviously, this is a tough weekend to really kind of dip a toe, seeing as there's a lot of questions around who was actually going to play the full game. We saw that in Green Bay and in Detroit.

When we look at too, I guess, that next wave of people to come out too, Josh, I mean, that's going to be the big point to watch as all of these upfront bonuses-- Caesars as well with a pretty large bonus, the largest I saw, also running into, I guess, a couple of issues as the app crashed a few times. I'm not sure if that was due to a lot of people trying to access it all at once, which might be a good thing, or the best silver lining you could have in your app crashing.

I mean, how do you see the competition heating up as more gaming companies move in to capture the New York customer?

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah. Yeah, Caesars had an issue for about three hours, I think it was, on Saturday. The app was shut down. They were giving out $300 free. And then I think there was also a part where you could get a certain amount of your deposit matched as well. So that's something that's very attractive.

And like you said, Zack, I think it's not dissimilar to some of the stuff we see in the markets where, when you have really attractive deals on some of these apps, you get a lot of people on. And then, all of a sudden, there's too much volume. And the app can't actually take that. So I don't think that'll be the last we see of that.

But I do think it's going to be important to watch which of these companies gain the market share in the next two or three weeks. Gamblers are going to take the bonuses they can take. And then they're just going to find an app and stick with it. Eventually, people aren't going to keep moving from app to app. They're going to pick one.

And when you think about sports gambling, when you think about the big people that these guys are trying to win over, it's kind of the whales that bet a lot of money. They're not going to keep moving and signing up for new apps for $100 bonuses. They want to make thousands of dollars and make big, big payments. So I think that whoever wins over the next month or two or kind of can get that early wave is going to be the big winner in New York.

ZACK GUZMAN: All right, Josh Schafer bringing us the latest there on the gaming front. Appreciate that.