Data Shows Most New York Online Sports Bettors Are New To The Legal Market

Written By Derek Helling on January 20, 2022
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New research shows that for most New York sports bettors, the inconvenience of crossing state lines to place legal online bets was a deterrent over the past few years. That means New York online sports betting‘s hot start has some sustainability.

Two metrics from GeoComply show that the vast majority of people that have put bets down online in NY since the start of legal online wagering there are new to the legal market. Both of them suggest the drain on neighboring markets might not be that drastic, too.

New York sports bettors are giving online wagering a try

GeoComply, a company that provides location services for many online gambling brands in the US, has the details. Their data shows of the 1.2 million accounts verified for use in NY across all five operators, 878,000 are for unique users.

What does that mean? If that unique user count was lower, that would mean the 1.2 million total accounts were more the same bettors creating accounts on multiple sports betting apps. For example, one person with accounts on BetMGM, BetRivers, and Caesars.

In fact, GeoComply says that the average number of accounts across the five options each bettor has is just 1.36. Thus, it seems most NY bettors are deciding on a brand to try and then sticking with that operator so far.

The high percentage of new users among the whole – over 73% new users to be exact – suggests registration efforts by the books have been successful. Just that number alone doesn’t tell the full story, however.

More “noobs” than vets for NY online wagering

For those unfamiliar, “noob” is a shortened term synonymous with “newbie,” which means someone that is new to something. That descriptor seems accurate for most of those in NY who have placed sports bets using any of the five legal operators in the state over the past couple of weeks.

Unique users are not necessarily new users, though. Each unique account could simply be a bettor who had been wagering in Connecticut, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. Those bettors simply verifying their accounts for use in NY would still register as unique users.

GeoComply’s research goes deeper than that, though. It looks at how many of those 878,000 unique users did not have existing accounts prior to their registration in NY. There’s plenty of good news there.

770,840, or about 87.8% of those registrations have been first-time customers. That has implications for New York’s online gambling market and beyond.

What does that number mean for New York?

For NY, there are multiple possible readings. First, online sportsbooks in NY aren’t just keeping bettors who were going out of state within the borders now. They’re adding to the pool of customers in droves.

That, of course, has long-term ramifications. While demand is certain to wane with the sports calendar like in every other market, there is enough of a consumer base to make NY a contender for the top spot in US sports betting numbers. GeoComply’s Managing Director of Gaming Lindsay Slader summed it up.

“The momentum of New York’s sports betting launch has continued and it is mostly home-grown,” Slader said in a press release. “The vast majority of users are brand new to regulated sports betting in the U.S. 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.”

While NY might soon surpass its neighbors in terms of sports betting handle, the news isn’t all bad for those border states. In fact, there’s a silver lining for CT, NJ, and PA to these numbers.

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The drain might not be too prevalent

If the vast majority of accounts on these books are not only unique but new, that means markets in bordering states should not fear the absolute worst. For sure, there will be some downturn, but it should not be crippling.

GeoComply’s numbers from the past weekend for NJ, for instance, show no downturn at all. During the two weekends before the launch of online sportsbooks in NY, GeoComply saw an average of 12.6 million pings in NJ.

The average number of pings in NJ during the two weekends since the launch went up to 13.1 million. It appears there are plenty of bettors on both sides of the state line to keep sportsbooks in both states busy.

For New York sports bettors who want to see their gambling industry healthy, there’s nothing but good news so far.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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