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Sports betting in New York ‘enjoyed’ a month-on-month rise in March, despite the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The state’s four licensed land-based casinos generated $99,514 between them, compared to a loss of $179,593 in February. 

Each operator was forced to shut down temporarily on 16th March, following orders from Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

How did each operator do in sports betting last month? 

Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady was the Empire’s best performer last month, bringing in $81,883 in revenue. This was a better performance compared to February when it lost $38,802. 

In second place was del Lago Resort & Casino, whose sportsbook is powered by US iGaming giant DraftKings. The venue’s March revenue reached $53,861, which was actually down from its February total of $98,247. 

Both of New York’s other two licensed land-based operators made losses in sports betting last month. 

Tioga Downs’ FanDuel-powered sportsbook reported a loss of $32,926. This was still an improvement on its February performance, in which it lost $94,030. Meanwhile, Resorts World Catskills cut its sports betting losses to $3,304 – compared to £145,008 in February. 

Overall gambling revenue figures down 

While sports betting showed some signs of recovery last month, the full picture for gambling in New York is far from a happy one right now. March was the second-worst-performing month for sports betting, but things didn’t fare much better elsewhere either. 

Spanning across all verticals, New York’s gambling revenue dropped to $24.1 million. It had made $54.6 million in February, representing a decline of 55.9%. 

As it did in sports betting, Rivers Casino came out on top when it came to combining all verticals. The venue’s March earnings hit $7.2 million, which was 52.9% lower than February’s $15.3 million figure.

Resorts had been the state’s top revenue maker in February, but also suffered a decline of more than half. Compared that month’s total of $19.6 million, March was less fruitful with $7 million being made altogether. That represented a drop of 64.3%. 

The state’s other two casinos also endured decreasing overall month-on-month revenues. del Lago’s earnings went down by 71.4%, reaching $6.5 million. Meanwhile, Tioga Downs’ incomings totaled $3.6 million – a 49.3% slip. 

Challenging times for gambling in New York

All four casinos will stay closed until further notice, with the state currently in lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

New York has been hit hard by the pandemic. 138,863 cases have been reported (at the time of writing), resulting in 5,489 deaths. That represents a large chunk of the virus’ impact on the US (full country: 400,549 reported cases, 12,857 deaths). 

Lawmakers have reached an agreement on the state budget, but there is no room for mobile sports betting. Cuomo has been a vocal opponent of extending the vertical digitally. 

Like New York, land-based casinos in both neighboring Pennsylvania and New Jersey have closed. However, players in these two states can still use authorized online casino services. This means that both still have some form of gambling income, whereas New York doesn’t. 

According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), a two-month shutdown of the country’s retail casinos could cost the US economy as much as $43.5 billion. The association’s President & CEO Bill Miller said that a number of businesses were feeling a “devastating blow” because of the crisis.

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