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New York Mobile Sports Betting Can Start Saturday, Four Apps to Launch in First Wave

Posted on: January 6, 2022, 09:43h. 

Last updated on: January 7, 2022, 09:22h.

Start spreading the news. Mobile sports betting apps in New York will be able to launch as early as this weekend.

The Statue of Liberty looks out over New York Harbor with the New York City skyline in the background. The New York Gaming Commission on Thursday announced that mobile sports betting may begin as early as Saturday, with four of the nine approved apps ready to roll out. (Image: George Hodan/PublicDomainPictures.net)

On Thursday, the New York State Gaming Commission announced that Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive “have satisfied all statutory and regulatory requirements necessary to accept and process mobile sports wagering activity,” and have been given the clearance to start taking bets as soon as 9 am ET this Saturday.

“After that effective date, each licensee will determine when to accept wagers, based upon its business capabilities and readiness,” the commission said in a statement on its website.

Two months ago, the commission approved bids for nine sports betting apps to operate in the state. The other apps are Bally Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, Resorts World, and WynnBET.

Those operators remain conditionally licensed, the Gaming Commission said, and are working toward getting final approval.

Once regulatory and other requirements are met, the Gaming Commission will approve the launch of the remaining apps on a rolling basis.

The nine apps were part of two proposals the Gaming Commission accepted as part of an open solicitation for licenses. The state will tax the platform providers working with the apps at 51 percent of revenues. The eight platform providers will also pay a $25 million fee for a 10-year license.

Apps Ready to Launch

In statements to Casino.org, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street, which operates as BetRivers, said they are ready to take bets on Saturday.

“The long-awaited launch of online and mobile sports betting in New York… is here, and just in time,” RSI CEO Richard Schwartz said in a statement. “With the college football championship game on (Monday) and NFL playoffs approaching, and the NBA and NHL seasons in full swing, in addition to countless other sports and betting options available for play, fans have endless entertainment at their fingertips at BetRivers.”

For DraftKings Director of Race and Sportsbook Operations Johnny Avello, Saturday’s launch will be a homecoming of sorts.

“Growing up in New York and having spent the last 30-plus years in Las Vegas, I am thrilled that my

worlds are finally set to collide,” the Poughkeepsie native said.

The early January launch meets a goal set by state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens. The chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, Addabbo has been an ardent supporter of expanding gaming in New York to include mobile betting. After it was included in the state budget lawmakers passed last April, Addabbo said he wanted to see apps operating in the state by the Super Bowl.

In a statement, Addabbo said he was ecstatic to hear that some operators would be ready to launch this weekend, which is the final week of the NFL’s regular season. That will help generate more revenue for state education, addiction services, and youth sports initiatives.

“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,” he said. “I look forward to the other five operators satisfying the statutory and regulatory requirements necessary to launch in the near future and working with the Hochul Administration and Gaming Commission.” 

With the largest economy of any state that has legalized sports betting (only Florida has a larger population among states that have legalized sports betting, but a federal court order has forced the only sports betting app in that state to suspend operations for the time being), New York is expected to quickly become the nation’s top sports betting market.

When lawmakers approved mobile sports wagering in their budget last April, they estimated that state revenues from betting apps would surpass $350 million in fiscal year 2023 and eventually reach $500 million.

Buffalo Bills, FanDuel Announce Partnership

Later Thursday afternoon, FanDuel and the Buffalo Bills announced a partnership that makes the Flutter Entertainment subsidiary an official mobile sports betting partner of the only NFL team that plays its games in New York.

The multi-year deal gives FanDuel rights to use the Bills logos. It also will give the sports betting operator rights to television and radio spots on the Bills network and in-game signage and activations at Highmark Stadium.

Fanduel will also be a sponsor of a fantasy sports-themed podcast the team produces.

Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group, said in a statement that the company looks forward to bringing original content to “one of the most loyal fanbases” in the NFL and US sports.

“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,” he said.

FanDuel isn’t the only operator to establish a relationship with a New York professional sports team. Caesars has a partnership with Madison Square Garden, which includes the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers.

Ceasars Digital Co-President Chris Holdren said the company is “thrilled” to be one of the first entrants in New York mobile sports betting.

“From Buffalo to the Bronx, New York is a special place and we’re grateful for the chance to show the Empire State what it’s like to be a part of the Caesars Empire,” he said.

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