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Why New York is the Top Handle Rankings



Why New York is the Top Handle Rankings

The full 2024 Quarter 1 legal online sports betting numbers are in and, to the surprise of no one, New York is the clear leader nationwide in terms of overall handle. While New York might not have legalized as soon as either Nevada or neighboring New Jersey, the fact that New York tops the handle rankings is to be expected because of how populous the state is — the fourth-biggest in the US — and because of how quickly its residents, and many visitors, took to betting.

Through the first three months of 2024, there was a whopping $5.6 billion wagered legally on sports in New York through the licensed operators, dwarfing the amounts collected on moneyline bets and other wagers by No. 2 New Jersey ($4.13 billion), No. 3 Illinois ($3.62 billion), No. 4 Pennsylvania ($2.32 billion), No. 5 Ohio ($2.29 billion) and No. 6 Nevada ($2.28 billion).

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Rounding out the top ten are Arizona, Massachusetts, Virginia and Colorado.

Granted, Q1 technically ended awhile ago and we are just beginning Q2 so numbers could have changed over the past few months but the order of states makes a lot of sense.

Until California and Texas legalize online sports betting and with Florida still in the relatively early stages of legalization, it looks like New York will be able to stay at the top of the charts for awhile longer. Between its population, large number of professional sports teams and vibrant tourism industry, there is never a shortage of betting interest in the Empire State.

🗽 New York Tops Handle Rankings: Top Three Has Remained Consistent

Since New York’s online legal sports betting infrastructure was put into place in January 2022, New York has pretty much topped the handle rankings each month, taking the crown from neighboring New Jersey which was the leader until New York entered the fray.

New Jersey was an early legalizer and, from the beginning of the post-PASPA era, it had a major presence of sportsbooks and established a reputation as a place where people could go to legally bet right on their phones.

In fact, New Yorkers used to travel into New Jersey just to place their bets before heading right back to New York. Of course, things have changed a lot since those days as New York has become a betting powerhouse of its own.

New Jersey has stayed a major player in the space, though, due to its built-in first-mover advantage, proximity to New York City, in-person gambling scene in Atlantic City and its own professional sports franchises.

Illinois — featuring the country’s third-largest city — is a fitting No. 3 with its own large population and status as the pro sports and legal betting capital of the Midwest. One of the best bets you can make is that Illinois will be close behind New Jersey when these types of handle rankings come out because Chicago is such an enormous betting market.

It has had legal sports betting since August 2020 and, as such, has been operating for a long time so bettors are accustomed to wagering there.

🗽 Is There Room To Grow For New York?

New York likely will top the handle rankings for the foreseeable future because legalization in California and Texas is far away from coming to fruition.

For such a big state, it has major built-in advantages and seems to constantly grow in terms of handle and profit from month to month and year to year, still managing to perform well even during the relatively “down” months of the summer and whenever else the NFL is in its offseason.

But, could there be stagnation for the nation’s biggest online sports betting state?

That’s always a concern and New York is one a few states that prohibits betting on in-state college sports teams which already forecloses bettors in the state from wagering on teams like Syracuse and St. John’s.

Because neighboring New Jersey is considering lifting that ban — and potentially prohibiting prop bets on college sports games entirely — it would be smart for the New York online sports betting authorities and state lawmakers to keep all of their options open as to how they can maximize revenue for the state while also protecting student-athletes and the integrity of games.

New York already prohibits sportsbooks from offering college sports prop bets so that ban likely isn’t going anywhere. But, from a competitive standpoint, allowing in-state college sports betting — when a ban on that isn’t likely to prevent relatively non-existent game fixing — might be a smart concession and could add to New York’s huge advantage in handle over the rest of the country. It’s worth looking into.

For Gambling news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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