Mobile NY sports betting is a signature away from being legal even though no one can accurately explain what exactly it will look like.
The New York Assembly took its time on the floor Wednesday but eventually passed the state’s $212 billion budget. The Senate passed the bill as well, meaning it’s a Gov. Andrew Cuomo signature away from completion.
Cuomo, of course, is largely to thank for the mobile sports betting model. He announced he was open to legalizing mobile betting in December, only to disappoint much of the industry and consumers with his model that reflects New Hampshire‘s lottery-based monopoly.
There are very few details that can be nailed down about what mobile sports betting in New York will look like based on the legislative language. There will be a minimum of two platform providers that win, which will partner with a minimum of four total skins. More platform providers could be licensed if additional licensees are “in the best interests of the state.”
The bill lists some of the criteria to be considered by the New York State Gaming Commission, but what will weigh heaviest is still unclear.
Criteria for mobile NY sports betting RFP
There are nine specific factors listed in the New York legislation that will be used to determine the winning bidders. The list below is in the same order as the legislative text:
- A market analysis that explains how the bidder will maximize revenue to the state.
- Estimates of mobile betting revenue generated under different scenarios.
- The percentage of mobile betting revenue that will be shared with New York under those scenarios. The minimum is 50%. All winners will have to accept the highest number offered by a winning bidder in order to qualify.
- Potential market share of the platform’s skins under those multiple scenarios.
- Advertising and promo plans.
- Past experience and expertise.
- The bidder’s “capacity to rapidly and effectively bring authorized sports bettors into its platform.”
- A demonstration of how the bidder fosters racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the workplace.
- The timeframe in which a bidder could get sports betting launched once it’s awarded a license.
The text also says additional points will be added to any bid that includes a skin for one of the state’s three tribal gaming partners.
Those items don’t appear to be in order of importance after Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. said speed to market is an important criterion. He’s hoping to see a thriving mobile NY sports betting market by the Super Bowl.
How will mobile NY sports betting RFP process mirror NH?
With Cuomo pointing to the New Hampshire sports betting model throughout the process, it makes sense to look at how exactly the RFP shook out in the Granite State.
DraftKings Sportsbook eventually won a mobile and retail sportsbook monopoly in New Hampshire after offering 50% of revenue to the state. There were 13 bidders for the up to five licenses, though only BetMGM and platform provider Kambi were selected for price proposals alongside DraftKings, according to the proposal summary.
The bids were scored out of 1,000 points on nine categories:
- Strength of sports betting services: 175 points
- Strength of sports betting hardware and software: 175 points
- Design and implementation of the sports betting product: 150 points
- Company experience, resources and financial stability: 125 points
- Company integrity and ethics: 100 points
- Economic development in New Hampshire: 100 points
- Compliance program: 75 points
- Responsible gaming: 75 points
- Accounting and audit program: 25 points
DraftKings won with a score of 810, with Kambi taking second at 775 and BetMGM in third with 765. The scoring summaries did not break down where points were lost.
Economic impact likely most important for New York
Cuomo’s presented his plan as the best way for the state of New York to profit from sports betting. His proposal estimated $500 million in annual proceeds to the state from mobile betting.
By this point, Cuomo and his office reasonably know various projections suggest $500 million a year is a huge ask. That is why New York’s cut of mobile betting revenue will likely be the most important criterion in the process.
According to PlayNY, each adult would have to bet $615 annually for New York to hit that $500 million mark. That assumes a 10% hold on $10 billion in handle, both of which are generous figures.
Who are the favorites?
DraftKings and FanDuel will both have interest in a New York license. That might be tougher for one of them, though, because it’s still unclear how the relationship between platform provider and skin will work.
If the skins have to use the platform’s technology, it invites questions about how DraftKings would make it work logistically.
FanDuel’s parent company Flutter also owns Fox Bet, so a bid with those two skins seems natural. DraftKings might have to find another sportsbook partner on its SBTech platform to come up with another skin.
Politics makes strange bedfellows?
Whatever the odds, both companies are playing remarkably nicely.
“We want to thank the legislature and Governor Cuomo for the progress made in bringing legal, regulated, mobile sports betting to New York,” said Griffin Finan, VP of government affairs and associate general counsel for DraftKings. “We look forward to learning more as the process continues to unfold.”
The songbook sounded the same from FanDuel.
“We are pleased to see this important step toward bringing legal, regulated mobile sports betting to New York achieved and are grateful for the leadership of the Governor and legislature,” FanDuel VP Chris Jones said. “We look forward to the next steps of the process and hope we are ultimately able to bring our FanDuel Sportsbook product to customers in our home state.”