New York Bettors Take A Beating With Sportsbooks Making A Bundle In December

NY Sportsbooks Making A Bundle in December
Published by NYSB Staff
Last Updated: 02. Feb 2024.

The underperformance of a slew of NFL favorites made bettors pay in week 14 as sportsbooks made impressive profits. 

But who are the market leaders among the top New York sportsbooks for effectiveness in retaining customer dollars wagered?

How Much Of Your Dollar Does A Sportsbook Typically Retain?

In sports betting, 'hold' is the percentage of all bets collected that a book retains after all winnings have been paid out.

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Though betting operator performance metrics and targets vary by operator and are shrouded in secrecy, industry standards tend to suggest that between 5% and 10% is an expected range.

Any number above 10% is therefore considered to be 'good'.

How NY sportsbooks are gobbling up the dollars as Christmas approaches

New York's nine legal betting sites hauled in $410.2 million in total handle to week ending 10th December 2023.

Against those total bets taken figures, the NY sportsbooks made $56.9 million in Gross Gaming Revenue (the amount retained after all wagers were settled).

That resulted in a hold of 13.87% to week ending December 10. That hold rate compares against a weekly average of 8.95% since March 27.

And that hold percentage for the first full week of this month was a notable one as the highest since mid-October and the third highest of the year.

The biggest hold of the year was in week ending October 15, when the combined proportion retained by all of New York's mobile betting operators hit a huge 15.41%.

The Factors Behind High Holds In December

Generally, bookmakers do not like favorites in a sporting event to win. They may be paying out at short odds but they will be settling successful bets to a larger number of customers.

We sure saw the ‘favorite effect’ in action for week 14 of the NFL season. Underdogs, the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants and the New York Jets all won.

While this was good news for sports fans who were savvy enough to bet on the underdogs, it means that the majority of bettors would have seen a loss on those fixtures.

Elsewhere, half a dozen favorites failed to cover the spread - the most popular bet type for football - and there were two massive upsets in the Monday night games.

In the two weeks before that slate of fixtures, favorites had performed strongly which probably also swayed public money away from the underdog.

It was something of a dream set of results for New York’s leading NFL sportsbooks.

The NY Sports Betting Industry Standings For Hold As Year-End Nears

FanDuel has long been the envy of its rivals for its consistently high hold rates. Even DraftKings CFO Jason Park passed comment on it in August during his company's second-quarter earnings call.

Park pointed to FanDuel's optimal 'bet mix and parlay mix' as the reason for his rival’s success in attaining a higher number of dollars held from wagers made.

That's because FanDuel was pretty much the first mover in promoting and emphasizing parlays - a bet type from which sportsbooks tend to make a heap of money owing to the low number of winners.


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The figures aren't in yet to reflect week 15’s NFL results to assess whether bettors took another hit. 

However, with normal service resumed this weekend and almost all favorites winning and covering the spread, there may have been some Christmas cheer restored among the betting public.

On the other hand, the less said about the fortunes of the New York Jets and the New York Giants in week 15 the better.

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