Four of nine NY operators approved to launch mobile betting from 8 January

| By Daniel O'Boyle
The New York Gaming Commission has approved Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street Interactive to accept mobile sports bets in the state from 8 January.

The regulator determined the four operators have “satisfied all statutory and regulatory requirements necessary to accept and process mobile sports wagering activity”, and so each will be able to take their first bets from 9am Eastern Time on Saturday.

Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street Interactive were four of the nine operators recommended for licences following the conclusion of the state’s tender process.

The regulator said the other five operators – PointsBet, Resorts World, BetMGM, Bally’s Corporation and Wynn Bet – “continue to work towards satisfying statutory and regulatory requirements necessary to launch”.

It added that these licensees will be approved on a rolling basis when they do meet these criteria.

While the regulator did not outline which specific requirements the remaining operators did not yet meet, the four approved operators all have existing retail sports betting agreements with land-based casinos in upstate New York.

Caesars operates sportsbooks at Point Place Casino, Turning Stone Resort and Yellow Brick Road Casino; DraftKings operates at del Lago Resort;  FanDuel’s sportsbook is at Tioga Downs and Rush Street Interactive operates via the Rush Street Gaming-owned Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady.

State senator Joseph P Addabbo Jr, who pushed for legal mobile betting in New York as chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, hailed the launch and the Gaming Commission for making it happen.

“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 8 January 2022, is great news for New York in terms of revenue, new funding for education, addiction programmes and youth sports, as well as new jobs,” he said,

“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. 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.”

In the bidding process, the nine operators approved to launch together submitted two bids to operate mobile betting in New York. FanDuel led one bid, alongside DraftKings, BetMGM and Bally Bet, while the other bid was led by supplier Kambi, and included Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, Resorts World, Rush Street Interactive and Wynn Bet.

Kristian Nylén, chief executive of Kambi, said it was excited to power Rush Street Interactive’s sportsbook as it goes live.

“We are excited to launch online in New York State this weekend, along with our partner Rush Street Interactive, which marks another significant milestone in the growth of Kambi,” he said. Being selected to operate in New York by the New York State Gaming Commission underlines the high quality, integrity and reliability of Kambi’s sports betting technology and I’m delighted that Kambi will be up and running on day one of the market, in time for the business end of the NFL season.

“New York is among the most populated and sports-passionate states in the US and will no doubt be one of the largest regulated wagering markets in North America, one we are both excited and honoured to be playing a leading role in.”

All participants will be required to pay a 51% tax on sports betting revenue, the highest tax rate in any multi-operator US state.

The tender process launched in July this year with six bids submitted. Alongside the winning FanDuel- and Kambi-led proposals was a rival proposal led by Kambi, featuring Penn National Gaming and sports merchandise retailer Fantatics. TheScore, which has since been acquired by Penn National, and Bet365 also put forward solo bids. 

The New York State Gaming Commission approved a final set of rules for sports betting in late November.

Consumers will be limited to one mobile sports betting account per skin, and subject to extensive Know Your Customer (KYC) checks before they can bet. Accounts can be funded by a host of payment options, including credit cards, though there will be a $2,500 annual limit for this form of payment.

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