What We Know About The Arrival Of New York Mobile Sports Betting

Posted By Nicholaus Garcia on April 15, 2021 - Last Updated on June 17, 2021

We aren’t going to sugar coat anything for you here at PlayUSA. With that premise in hand, the details of New York mobile sports betting and how it will ultimately function are a mess.

To be honest, experts are still digging through things trying to decipher exactly how it will operate. Mobile sports betting in the Empire State is still a bit down the road. But, there are a few things we do know.

In this case, casino deals don’t matter

There are many ways sports betting can function across the US and the path set for each state seems to be unique and personal. For the sake of New York, there are two options.

Option 1: A sports betting operator partners with a casino for a retail and mobile app which is the blueprint in places like Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey.

However, there are exceptions to this like in New Hampshire and Oregon.

Option 2: Sports betting operators make a case as to why they should be the lone operator in the state.

In New Hampshire, sports betting operators submitted their business model, which was then graded on a 1,000 point scale based on nine categories. The highest point total wins the job. In this case, it was DraftKings with a score of 810.

Now, back to casino deals. Many expected New York to take the logical road, which would be option 1.

Instead, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said to hell with that and ran with option 2. Prior to this decision, a bunch of sports betting operators began making deals with commercial casinos, which, in theory, was them doing their due diligence.

But now, there will be a competitive bidding process for a single mobile sports betting platform in New York. The deals still hold weight on the retail side of things, but they are basically the equivalent of railroad bonds for online sports betting – meaningless.

  • Tioga Downs + FanDuel
  • del Lago Resort + DraftKings
  • Resorts World Catskills + Bet365
  • Rivers Casino + BetRivers
  • Oneida Indian Nation + Caesars/William Hill
  • Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe + FOX Bet

So who will operate sports betting in New York?

It’s going to be a Hunger Games, Royal Rumble, kissing pinky rings-style brawl in New York.

The operator with the best model that checks all the boxes for Cuomo and state regulators will be the winner. The first box on the list is a minimum of 50% revenue share with the state.

Additionally, operators will have to submit advertising and promo plans, an analysis on how to maximize state revenue, potential launch date, and much more.

Names we can toss in the ring right now are DraftKings, FanDuel, Penn National, and William Hill. These brands are the heavy hitters.

New York has been on everyone’s radar for a while, and regardless of the model, operators would be foolish not to put their name on the list. There were 13 bidders for New Hampshire so, one could assume, many more will be vying for the chance to be king of New York.

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Launch date and expectations for online sports betting in New York

The main question people want answered is when can I start placing mobile sports bets? Well, odds are before the start of the 2021 NFL Season.

Anything before that would be a miracle. Stranger things have happened, but the money is in NFL betting.

Lastly, let’s talk about expectations.

Cuomo is hedging his bet on $500 million annually from mobile sports betting. According to PlayNY — in order for Cuomo to get his money, each adult would have to bet $615 annually, also assuming 10% hold and $10 billion in handle.

Both DraftKings and FanDuel are already praising Cuomo and trying to gain political points.

Griffin Finan, DraftKings of VP of Government Affairs said, “We want to thank the legislature and governor for making this happen.”

FanDuel VP Chris Jones said, “We are grateful for the leadership of the Governor and legislature.”

But not all comments are praising Cuomo’s efforts. Jeff Gural, owner of Tioga Downs was asked by PlayNY why Cuomo turned on the casinos he helped build?

“Because he’s a prick, it’s simple as that.”

Nevertheless, the next few weeks and months should be interesting.

Photo by Dreamstime
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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