ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With another March Madness coming to an end this weekend we’re taking a look at all the revenue and turn out from sports betting across New York State this year the tournament created.
Since mobile sports betting was only legalized in January of 2022 it was too early last March to determine what impact the tournament was having, and the state was not keeping track of any data yet. This year the numbers are in and revenue from March are among the highest since sports betting was legalized.
Even though casino’s have been around longer in the Finger Lakes region to give sports fans a place to gamble. Experts in gaming have seen mobile sports betting apps taking over in popularity this past year.
“We have seen a big increase,” Elizabeth Toomey of the Finger Lakes Problem Gambling Resource Center said. “You have to think about it 85% of individuals have a smart phone in their hands at all times. So, it gives access to people 24/7 in their hands.”
The most recent data from the New York State Gaming Commission shows winnings in gross gaming revenue and mobile sports wagering handle grew by tens of millions of dollars during the month of March compared to previous months. Outpacing last year’s winnings. During the NCAA tournament in the third week of March, New Yorkers wagered the most ever since the mobile sports betting was legalized. Nearly $460 million within one week alone.
“We are the highest in the hole country for mobile sports betting,” Toomey continued. “Last year we broke all types of records with more than $16 billion wagered in the first year it was legal here.”
When legalizing mobile sports betting, New York lawmakers enacted a 51% tax on all gross gaming revenue wagered, generating about 900-million-dollars of revenue for the state. Elizabeth Toomey is the Team Leader with the Finger Lakes Gambling Resource Center who explains this much betting can become unhealthy for those who don’t play responsibly.
“We have a clinical network of people that are trained to work with people that are struggling with gambling issues,” Toomey added. “There should be no barriers to treatment.”
All calls and emails to the Finger Lakes Problem Gambling Resource Center are kept confidential. Warning signs of an addiction include people getting really into sports suddenly, diverting too much money to play meant for other budgets, and spending little time with family.
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