The parameters of NY mobile sports betting have been established: two primary applicants, nine licensed skins, and a 51% tax rate

Big Three Online Gambling Operators Make The Cut For New York Mobile Sports Betting Licenses

BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel were among the online gambling operators selected for the new New York sports betting marketplace. The operators Online Poker Report refers to as the Big Three have strong online casino products and at least one is already interested in eventually offering iGaming in the Empire State. However, all of the operators selected yesterday during yesterday’s New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) meeting need to begin at the same starting line, which will be mobile sports betting.

Trade organization iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA) Growth congratulated its members who made the cut. They included four operators that also have online casino arms, as well as a B2B gambling platform provider that also serves the online casino market.

@iDEA_Growth tweeted:

“New York selects winning bidders! Congratulations to iDEA members @DraftKings @EntainGroup @FanDuel @KambiSports & @PointsBetUSA . They will bring legal, safe and regulated #sportsbetting to the Empire State. Not to mention the many members who will supply & support this market.”

iDEA Growth’s tweet was useful for those who weren’t able to hear the information straight from the source. The NYSGC meeting ended up being a conference call instead of streamed online as originally expected. The state site cited technical difficulties as the reason for the switch.

Sister site Legal Sports Report lists five more entities NYSGC chose for online sports betting licensure yesterday:

  • Bally Bet
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • Resorts World, which operates the only retail casino in New York City
  • Rush Street Interactive, mainly known for its BetRivers brand
  • WynnBET

The nine licensees the state accepted came by way of two separate proposals. FanDuel was the primary applicant on a bid that included Bally Bet, BetMGM and DraftKings, while Kambi took the lead on one which included Caesars, PointsBet, Resorts World and Rush Street.

BetMGM’s statement on New York licensure

Entain is in a joint venture with MGM Resorts International regarding US online casino market leader BetMGM. On Nov. 3 during his company’s earnings call, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle added that he’s interested in bringing online casino to New York bettors “well down the road.”

Yesterday, BetMGM announced its new NYSGC license with this statement from BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt:

“New York has the potential to be one of the largest sports betting markets in the US, 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.”

The BetMGM NY Sportsbook may be ready for bettors in early 2022, according to the company.

Ramifications for future iGaming offerings

In other states, BetMGM Casino, DraftKings Casino, FanDuel Casino and PointsBet Casino are already accepting bets and taking names – of opt-in customers.

All of the other brands gaining licensure yesterday also have casino arms. Although a couple are only using their expertise through their retail casinos: Bally’s Corporation and Resorts World.

If NYSGC legalizes online casino betting in the Empire State, these operators may not only be capable of quickly pivoting into that market. In addition to having experience with the market, those with a good track record in the state may get priority treatment from the regulator.

Plus, as Hornbuckle and Greenblatt mentioned, databases of existing customers are invaluable when markets expand. For instance prior to yesterday’s announcement about New York, BetMGM Sportsbook was already live in 15 states. MGM adds those BetMGM users to its loyalty program, M Life Rewards.

Notably absent from the state are Barstool Sportsbook, Bet365, Fox Bet and theScore, all of whose bids failed. Golden Nugget Online Gaming didn’t bother to apply at all, but is in the process of being acquired by DraftKings, and may have access to a hypothetical NY online casino market that way.

New York’s high tax rates

Hornbuckle said BetMGM and the other operators were vying for a 50% tax rate rather than the 62% that lawmakers had been considering.

LSR reported that New York will tax gross sports betting revenue at 51% and operators licenses will last 10 years.

Approved operators were excited about the opportunity.

In a statement about Caesars Sportsbook’s licensure in New York, Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg said:

“With more than 19 million people, New York will be the biggest mobile sports betting market in the country.”

- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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