Online sportsbooks will legally launch in New York this coming weekend, leaving Empire State bettors with plenty of time to prepare their NFL playoff wagers.
A regulator announced Thursday that four licensed mobile sports wagering operators — Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers-owner Rush Street Interactive — are authorized to start taking bets in New York as of Saturday, January 8, at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
“After that effective date, each licensee (Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive) will determine when to accept wagers, based upon its business capabilities and readiness,” the New York State Gaming Commission said in a press release.
More to come...
All four operators approved for launch by the gaming commission say they will do so Saturday.
Rush Street Interactive Inc. (RSI) said in a press release Thursday that its BetRivers sportsbook will go live in New York on Saturday morning, when players aged 21 and older can start making deposits and placing bets using their laptops, smartphones, and other devices.
The operator already has a toehold in the New York gambling market, as RSI oversees sports-betting operations at the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady. The casino's retail sportsbook was the first in the state to take a legal wager in 2019.
"RSI is thrilled to build on our heritage as the operator of New York's first and most successful retail sports betting destination by launching online sports betting in the Empire State on the first day it is available," Richard Schwartz, chief executive officer of RSI, said in the release.
Caesars Entertainment Inc., FanDuel Group, and DraftKings Inc. said their online sportsbooks will start taking wagers in New York on Saturday as well.
"The launch comes ahead of the NFL Playoffs, one of the busiest periods for betting activity in the year," DraftKings noted in a press release.
See you Saturday, New York pic.twitter.com/LYfjEwHI3I— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) January 6, 2022
One group of licensees consists of Bally Bet, BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, while the other includes technology provider Kambi, Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, Rush Street Interactive Inc., WynnBET, and casino-operator Resorts World.
Thursday’s news also suggests that Bally Bet, BetMGM, WynnBET, PointsBet, and Resorts World still have work to do before they’re cleared to launch their mobile sportsbooks in New York.
“The remaining five conditionally licensed Mobile Sports Wagering Operators continue to work towards satisfying statutory and regulatory requirements necessary to launch and will be approved on a rolling basis when requirements are met,” the gaming commission said.
Eyes on the prize
Still, the latest announcement means bettors in one of the most populous states in the U.S. are about to have a whole new set of legal sportsbooks to choose from. While retail sports betting is already happening in New York at upstate casinos, online wagering has only really been in the works since last spring, when lawmakers passed budget-related legislation that allowed for mobile gaming.
Bettors will have to be 21 and older to wager. Furthermore, no betting is allowed on a game in which a New York college team is playing.
It’s potentially a big prize for the chosen sportsbook operators. New York will be the largest market in the U.S. with legal online sports betting when it goes live, after Florida’s model for sports gambling was rejected by a federal judge.
However, the real prize for operators may be more about prestige and brand awareness than actual profits, at least in the early going.
Mobile sports betting revenue in New York will be subject to a 51% tax rate, one of the highest in the country. That tax rate could tamp down the level of advertising by operators and the promotions offered to bettors, which have been significant in other states that legalized sports betting.
Even so, the launch of online sports betting in the state could allow New York to capture some of the gambling revenue it has been losing to nearby Connecticut and New Jersey, which already have legal mobile wagering.
“Today’s announcement by the New York State Gaming Commission that four of the nine licensed Mobile Sports Wagering Operators have been approved to begin operations starting on Saturday, January 8, 2022, is great news for New York in terms of revenue, new funding for education, addiction programs and youth sports, as well as new jobs,” State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. said in a press release. “I want to thank the Gaming Commission for their efficiency in ensuring that these operators met all of the requirements to bring their mobile sports betting product to the people of New York ahead of the NFL playoffs.”