Early New York Online Sports Betting Shows Welcome Bonuses Having Intended Effect

Written By Derek Helling on January 26, 2022
Sportsbooks Introduces Bonuses As A Welcome To New York

To no one’s surprise, the online sportsbooks putting out the flashiest offers are getting the most love in the Empire State. New York online betting numbers from the first nine days of legal betting in NY confirm that people love a deal.

The four apps that launched at first crack earlier this month combined to take over $600 million in wagers from Jan. 8 through Jan. 16. They were far from equal in how they contributed to that performance, though.

A look at the first nine days of New York online betting

Over the first nine days of legal online betting in NY, bettors in the state put down more than $603 million in wagers. The four sportsbooks held $48.2 million, or 8%, of that sum. Because the state gets a 51% cut of that revenue, that means the state’s coffers grew $24.6 million richer.

Just two of the four operators accounted for over 76% of that handle, however. The breakdown of the four apps by handle went as follows:

Thus, Caesars cut of that $603 million pie was 25 times larger than BetRivers’ slice. Why such a huge disparity? Advertising frequency and earlier investments into the market play into the situation. Caesars already counted former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning among its brand ambassadors.

Additionally, Caesars is one of the brands that took part in the barrage of television and web commercials that saturated the state over that period of time. But, it also had a flashier welcome offer to draw people’s attention to. FanDuel’s performance in comparison to DraftKings bears out the importance of that dynamic as well.

Up to $1250 to bet on sports
250% Slots + Table Bonus
150 Free Spins On Gorilla Or Buffalo Ways
50 Daily Boost For Your Massive Wins
Grab your 175% + 50 free spins Wins
$22.50 FREE
New Player Welcome Bonus
US Players Accepted
$2.50 in Premium Funzpoints at Sign Up
+ Up to $20 Free With Your First Deposit

You have to spend money to make money

With these deals for new customers, it was more about style than substance. Caesars’ introductory offer in NY is two free bets worth up to $3,300. BetRivers, by contrast, was a 100% match of your first deposit up to $250.

The actual value of these deals for each user is very dependent on circumstances. Neither sportsbook is offering real money here. In both cases, the promotional value is paid in free bets or site credit.

That means to get any actual cash from either offer, you have to place successful wagers. So, if you miss on your free bets from Caesars but are able to turn some of your deposit match credit from BetRivers into real money with winning bets, then the BetRivers deal was actually worth more to you despite the lower ceiling.

Regardless of that fact, the higher ceiling on Caesars’ offer seems to have done the trick and produced a lot more handle. The same thing seems to have made a difference between FanDuel and DraftKings as well.

FanDuel’s welcome offer is a +3000 odds boost for new bettors’ first $5 bets, promising a $150 return in real money. DraftKings offers $280 in free bets for a successful $5 wager. Although the stated value on DraftKings’ offer is greater, NY bettors obviously love that FanDuel was offering a shot at a boosted payout in actual cash.

We’ll get more of an idea of how bettors are behaving in NY when data from a longer time period becomes available. In this small sample, though, it looks like eye-popping offers are a path to success.

Photo by Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
Derek Helling

Dere k Helling is the assistant managing editor of Playin USA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

View all posts by Derek Helling