It happened in an instant, didn’t it?
Empire State residents were hoping mobile New York sports betting would be close to ready by the NFL Playoffs Jan. 15. Next thing you know, around noon Thursday, came the sudden announcement: Four operators could launch in full by Saturday at 9 a.m. at the earliest.
The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) made the call in a news release.
The largest legalized sports betting market in the nation was going mobile, led by: Rush Street International (parent company of BetRivers), Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel NY and DraftKings NY.
Those operators are in compliance of all statutory and regulatory requirements necessary. They have been approved, as of Saturday, to commence operations.
What Happens Next?
The four licensees must make determinations regarding when to accept wagers, based upon business capabilities and readiness.
The operators ready to rock will be issuing numerous offers and promotions to create new accounts and attract new customers.
So far DraftKings, for instance, is giving new users $100 in free bets for registering a new account on DraftKings Sportsbook. When DraftKings goes live Saturday, that offer expires.
And FanDuel said it will provide $100 in FanDuel Sportsbook site credit when a customer activates their FanDuel Sportsbook account.
Still at the Starting Gate
There are five operators who are licensed but have not been deemed ready. They are: Points Bet, WynnBET NY, BetMGM NY, Bally Bet and Resorts World. Those operators are still working toward satisfying statutory/regulatory requirements necessary to launch and will be approved by the NYSGC when requirements are met.
With no set soft launch testing period and no pre-registration, all of the mobile sports betting providers could see platform overloads, technical glitches and account deposit issues this weekend.
All nine approved mobile sportsbooks will pay a 51% tax rate, tied for highest in the U.S., along with New Hampshire.
Enthusiasm Is Evident
The enthusiasm for mobile sports betting coming to New York is apparent in many ways. The Buffalo Bills, already in the playoffs, signed a multi-year partnership with FanDuel on Thursday afternoon for the operator to be the team’s official mobile sports betting partner.
“FanDuel has built a strong reputation as a premier sports betting destination for sports fans,” said Dan Misko, the senior vice president of business development for Pegula Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Bills. “The ways they reach people through engaging and entertaining content is innovative and aligns with how we think about connecting with our fans. We’re very excited for all this partnership will offer our valued fans throughout the state of New York as part of their gameday experience and look forward to working with FanDuel for many years to come.”
“The Bills take pride in being a culture that is built on genuine connection with their fans, and we are absurdly fan-focused at FanDuel, making this a natural collaboration,” Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group, said in a announcement. “As we prepare to bring America’s No. 1 sportsbook to New York state, we will collaborate with the Bills to bring unique content and experiences to one of the most loyal fanbases in sports.”
Buffalo (10-6) plays at home Sunday against their AFC East rival, the New York Jets (4-12). The Giants finish a disappointing season by hosting the Washington Football Team. And guess what: New York residents who are signed up can bet on the games, and all the NFL action, from the comfort of their homes.
The final week of the NFL regular season (two games on Saturday) seems to be an ideal time to test and work out any operating issues before the NFL Playoffs on Saturday, Jan. 15.
Yes, New York is ready for mobile betting, but there is work to be done.