New York’s Sports Betting Handle Skyrockets During First Weekend of March Madness

Compared to the first weekend of last year's NCAA tournament, the amount wagered in 2024 increased by 17.3%.

Mar 29, 2024 • 17:59 ET • 4 min read
Jalen Cox Colgate Raiders NCAAB
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March Madness got plenty of attention from sports bettors in the Empire State, but it wasn’t a great week for the operators.

New York’s nine online sportsbooks combined to generate a handle of $539.6 million for the week ending March 24. It marked the first time the Empire State has reached $500 million since the week ending Dec. 17 and its inaugural occurrence in March since legal online sports betting launched in 2022. 

Despite the massive spike in action, Empire State sportsbooks didn’t capitalize as much as they would’ve preferred for an NCAA tournament that has largely gone the way of the favorite. The New York Gaming Commission reported revenue of $31.2 million to produce a 5.8% hold.

Up and down

Compared to the first weekend of last year’s NCAA tournament, the amount wagered in 2024 was up 17.3%, but profits were 20.4% less than in 2023. 

The March 24 handle was up 21.2% from the previous week, but revenue fell 22.4% and the win rate dropped over three points during the first and second rounds of the Big Dance.

Weekly numbers for New York sports betting usually mirror FanDuel's performance, and the period ending March 24 was no different. 

The online sportsbook’s $244.8 million accounted for 45% of the Empire State’s total handle. The $13.9 million revenue plummeted 34.7% week-over-week.

The rest of the competition

DraftKings saw its week-over-week handle jump 17.8% to $174.4 million, while revenue went from $10.3 million to $11.3 million. 

Caesars took in the third-most wagers at $48.2 million, which was about $750,000 less than the week before, while BetMGM had a handle of $30.2 million. 

Fanatics Sportsbook generated nearly $5 million more than the previous week to produce a handle of $18.4 million, the same amount taken in by BetRivers.   

Seven of New York’s sportsbooks saw a week-over-week drop in revenue, but none had a losing week. 

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