The state Gaming Commission said it will grant mobile sports betting licenses to Bally Bet, Bet MGM, DraftKings Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, Resorts World, Rush Street Interactive, Wynn Interactive and FanDuel Sportsbook.
The commission had a virtual meeting Monday afternoon before confirming the licenses were granted.
The gross betting revenue will be taxed at 51 percent, according to LegalSportsReport.com, which first reported the news.
FanDuel Sportsbook is the primary applicant for Bally Bet, BetMGM and DraftKings, while Kambi Group submitted applications for the others. Kambi Group had also submitted an application with Fanatics Sportsbook and Barstool Sportsbook, which was apparently not selected.
The selection is ahead of the expected timeline, which had the Gaming Commission picking the licensees by Dec. 6.
“With the addition of mobile wagering, 15 million New Yorkers will now have access to convenient, safe and legal sports betting in their home state,” said American Gaming Association Senior Vice President Casey Clark in a statement. “Importantly, mobile sports betting allows regulated sportsbooks to better compete and push out the predatory and pervasive illegal market.”
The early announcement means mobile sports betting will almost certainly be ready in time for the Super Bowl, said Becca Giden, director of policy for Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, a research and consulting firm. In October, Giden predicted that there would be about 90-120 days between the awarding of the licenses and the actual launch. That’s because New York will need to issue ancillary licenses, for example to vendors who provide geolocation services to make sure that revenue from bets placed in New York stays in New York. The mobile betting apps will also need to undergo testing.
“I think our estimate is still in the first quarter of 2022, but we’re a little more confident that they absolutely will meet that Super Bowl deadline,” Giden said.
And although the 51 percent tax rate seems high — and is, when compared to other states like New Jersey or Colorado — Giden said operators agreed to it likely because they expect the size and “lifetime value” of the New York market to offset the rate.
There will be ramifications for New York bettors, however.
“Our expectations are that there will be less promotional activity than a completely open, low-tax market like New Jersey or Colorado,” Giden said. Promotional activity isn’t advertising, but rather promotional deals operators offer to attract new customers.
Rush Street Interactive has a partnership with Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, overseeing the casino’s retail sportsbook.
“New York is a crown jewel market with more than 20 million residents which, upon launch, will become the largest online sports betting market in the United States. Moreover, it is home to some of the most passionate sports fans in the nation. We look forward to bringing our award-winning online gaming platform and customer service to New York, deepening our roots in the state and region, and creating an omnichannel experience for sports bettors that we have successfully executed upon across the country,” Rush Street Interactive CEO Richard Schwartz said in a press release.
Rivers Casino general manager Rick Richards said in October he wasn’t worried it will damage their business because a casino can provide amenities like large TVs, food and drink, and crowds, that aren’t available elsewhere.
“I still think that most of the people like to be excited about putting a bet on a game, but they like to watch it with people,” he said last month.
“When you’re making a sports bet, you’re into it. You don’t make a sports bet and then not watch the game,” Richards said.
“We would like to thank the New York Gaming Commission as well as congratulate them for keeping to their timetable,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt in a statement. “New York has the potential to be one of the largest sports betting markets in the U.S. and BetMGM is particularly well positioned to become a leader in the state given the strength of the M life customer database, close proximity of Empire City Casino to support our omni-channel strategy, and parlaying our already leading positions in nearby states.”
Robert DeSalvio, president of Genting Americas East, which operates Resorts World Bet, said the company is grateful to the Gaming Commission for recommending them for licensure.
“Our team, with its deep ties to New York, combines the very best in gaming and innovative technology and will be able to deliver a program on day one that provides more choices for consumers, more tax revenue for New York, and more reinvestment in the local communities where we operate,” he said in a statement.