January and February kicked off a strong start to 2022 for the gambling industry, with the launch of new online sports betting markets, optimism surrounding legislation in Brazil, and of course, the Super Bowl.
New York online sports betting market goes live
The new year began with New York state launching its online sports betting market on January 8.
The New York State Gaming Commission confirmed that the first four out of nine licensed operators – Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive – had been approved to launch mobile sports betting in the Empire State on the first day.
The market launched with a high tax rate of 51%, and with ambitions to make $500m in annual tax revenue by 2024, all despite New Jersey’s more established sports betting market being just next door.
Looking to establish itself as the top sportsbook in the New York state market, FanDuel began a multi-year partnership with the Buffalo Bills, becoming an official mobile sports betting partner of the NFL franchise. Caesars also partnered with the NFL team.
Two weeks following its launch, the New York online sports betting market had already accepted over $1bn in bets, and following its first month, it reported the highest betting volume number in a single month after $1.6bn was wagered at its sportsbooks.
Louisiana also went live with its online sports betting market later in the month on January 28. With a 15% tax rate, the first operators to launch in the state included DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and BetMGM.
GeoComply reported that, between January 28 and January 30, over 3.4 million geolocation transactions took place at the Pelican State’s online sportsbooks.
Optimism for Brazil’s gambling regulation
The opening months of 2022 also saw Brazil begin its process towards legalizing gambling, with the country’s Chamber of Deputies approving a bill that would regulate the industry. On February 24, Bill 442/91 received 246 votes in favor, 202 against, and two abstentions.
“The goal is to prevent and protect the players,” stated Felipe Carreras at the time, the Deputy who drafted the bill.
“The regulation will allow the state to collect more taxes through the exploitation of games and betting, and will ensure greater resources for the implementation and development of social public policies of the states and municipalities, reinforcing our fiscal federalism.”
To facilitate the bill’s approval, Carreras accepted the creation of a regulatory entity that would answer to the Ministry of Economy and be in charge of authorizing and licensing gambling activities.
It was noted that the legalization could bring in $3.9bn in annual taxes, generate 200,000 jobs, and formalize another 450,000.
Around the same time, BtoBet published a report showing optimism for the Brazilian market, calling it a “sleeping giant” and diving into its growth potential.
Super Bowl betting sets new records
The Super Bowl always brings high activity levels for sportsbooks, but the Big Game, which resulted in the Los Angeles Rams beating the Cincinnati Bengals, brought in record numbers for several states.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board noted that $179.8m was wagered at the Silver State’s 179 sportsbooks on Super Bowl LVI.
This was a new Super Bowl handle record for the state over the past ten years, beating the previous best of $158.6m wagered on 2018’s Super Bowl when the Philadelphia Eagles won against the New England Patriots.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported $143.7m in wagers on the Big Game, an increase of 22.4% when compared to $117.4m wagered on Super Bowl LV when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs.