Sports bettors in New York are still undecided on operator preferences, a new study conducted by Betting Hero Research found. The report, which offers insights into Empire State sports gamblers, found brand loyalty is still up for grabs in the nascent market.
According to Betting Hero, a brand of FansUnite's affiliate company American Affiliate, the New York market remains largely unclaimed, despite operators spending record figures in the competitive race for customer acquisition. The report found that in the first three months of legal mobile gaming in the state, bettors used an average of 3.3 sports betting apps.
This average is notably higher than New Jersey’s, which stands at 2.8 apps. Betting Hero Research found that bettors were more likely to remain loyal to a brand’s app if they had used it previously in another state rather than if it was the first they used in New York.
For instance, FanDuel posted the highest retention among all operators, with a 76% retention rate with first-time New York sports bettors. This retention rate further jumped to a high 89% among respondents who had previously used FanDuel in other markets, which according to the research brand shows that loyalty crosses state lines.
Despite the general lack of firm loyalty, consumers nevertheless cited preferences among operators’ apps. The study found sports bettors in the Empire State rated DraftKings and FanDuel the highest in functionality and ease of use.
Additionally, FanDuel ranked highest among parlay bettors, while DraftKings was preferred among straight bettors. Moreover, 47% of respondents cited Caesars as having “the most memorable sports betting advertisement,” more than double DraftKings, the next closest operator.
"Our research takes a deep dive into the mind of the New York bettor and their experience thus far," said Jai Maw, co-founder and president of Betting Hero. "The launch of sports betting in New York is one of the biggest industry developments in years. While many questions remain about this market, our research provides the best initial findings available."
According to Betting Hero, the brand has had more than 2 million face-to-face interactions with consumers, providing “unparalleled insight into the minds of sports bettors.” The company provides product/feature testing, voice of customer research, and competitive analysis to its clients.
As part of its efforts, Betting Hero Research now produces a monthly subscription research product. Each month, the company focuses on a new state, covering the trends, gaps, strengths, opportunities, and movements in the market through voice of customer studies.
For its New York report, the business collected data from residents in March 2022. The survey required that respondents be experienced mobile bettors, over the age of 21, and current residents of the state. Betting Hero Research sourced 90% of the data via online surveys and phone interviews, and collected the remaining 10% in person at New York sporting events.
The study helps understand how marketing efforts in New York -which has quickly become the top market for US sports betting since launch in January, becoming the fastest state to break the $1 billion handle mark- are paying out thus far. Operators live in the state have spent millions in a fierce competition to secure the top spot.
To that end, sportsbooks have engaged in heavy promotion, which led to some analysts voicing concerns about the long-term sustainability of such tactics. Earlier reports indicated it could cost between $300 to $500 on average to acquire an online gaming customer; while some leading books went as far as offering $1,000 credits to sign up new customers upon market launch. However, many operators have begun toning down promotions and marketing to privilege profitability.
For instance, Caesars said in February it would be sharply reducing advertising spending for its sportsbook product after having accomplished its customer acquisition target. “You are going to see us dramatically curtail our traditional media spend effectively immediately,” Tom Reeg, Chief Executive Officer, told investors at the time.