New York likely surpassed New Jersey for the top spot in the U.S. sports betting market during the first two weekends that mobile bets were offered, according to a company that most of the legal U.S. sports betting industry uses to verify that its customers are where they say they are.
But even as New York appears primed to seize New Jersey's sports betting crown, it may not have shrunk New Jersey's market in the early going.
GeoComply Solutions, the Vancouver Canada-based tech company, recorded 17.9 million transactions last weekend in New York, up from 17.2 million the weekend before, when it went live in the state.
The data records the amount of times the company was called on to verify a customer’s location. It is considered a good indicator for at least a minimum level of sports betting activity, more than 80% of which is done online in the U.S.
The company says 1.2 million new accounts were created in New York since mobile sports betting began on Jan. 8. Nearly 88% of those customers are new to legal sports betting, never having been verified before by GeoComply.
“The momentum of New York’s sports betting launch has continued and it is mostly home-grown,” says Lindsay Slader, the company's managing director of gaming. “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.”
Figures on the amount of bets taken (known as handle) in both states have not yet been reported. While the log-in figures imply that New York took more bets than New Jersey did, they also show that New Jersey probably did not lose business to New York thus far.
New Jersey averaged 12.6 million geolocation transactions in the two weekends before New York's mobile launch, and 13.1 million in the two weekends since.
About 9.3% of bettors have accounts in both states, the company said.
“The growth in New York has been explosive,” said Richard Schwartz, CEO of Rush Street Interactive, which operates the BetRivers online sportsbook. “It is, by far, off to the fastest start of any of our sportsbook markets in terms of handle. Along with having the largest population of any state with legalized sports gambling, New York is one of the few U.S. states with multiple teams across all four major sports. It’s simply a recipe for long term success.”
The impact of New York on New Jersey's market is sure to be a closely watched phenomenon; New Jersey casinos and sports books say at least 20% of their business has come from New Yorkers crossing over into New Jersey to make bets before New York opened up the market.
States require a gambler to be physically located within their borders in order to make an online sports bet, which is where geolocation technology comes in. It uses a combination of cellphone data, software, hardware and databases to determine where a phone or laptop trying to make a bet is actually located.
While it is true that customers can log in and have their location verified without actually placing a bet, many gamblers also make more than one bet after a single login.
Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at @WayneParryAC
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