NY Sports Betting Regulator Answers More Questions As RFP Approaches

Posted on June 7, 2021
NY sports betting
Posted By on June 7, 2021

The New York State Gaming Commission answered more mobile NY sports betting questions as companies prepare for the upcoming RFP.

The official details for the RFP will be published no later than July 1, though they could be released sooner. Platform providers and operators then will submit bids to become one of the minimum two platform providers and four sportsbook skins in the state.

Applications will be accepted for 30 days with the commission selecting winners within 150 days.

The first round of Q&A was published in April, about a week after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the budget bill including sports betting language into law.

Mobile sports betting in New York should be live in time for Super Bowl betting in early 2022.

Public can find out mobile NY sports betting bidders

So far, there have been no public conversations about who might be teaming to present bids in New York. Even if those bidders do not announce the details once the proposal is submitted, though, they still will be available.

“All bids are subject to the Freedom of Information Law,” according to the updated list of questions and answers.

There will not be a ton of information actually available, though. Trade secrets and other information that would cause “substantial injury to the competitive position of the submitting entity are generally protected from disclosure,” according to the NYSGC.

Platform providers can win multiple bids?

As unlikely as it seems, the NYSGC can select a platform provider for multiple licenses if that provider submitted multiple bids.

One question asked if a platform provider would have to pay the $25 million license fee multiple times if it won multiple bids, which the regulator confirmed it would.

The NYSGC also confirmed it has no preference for how many operators a platform provider includes in its bid. It also stated multiple times there will be no changes to the bid once submitted.

That includes if a sports betting operator is no longer suitable to operate. The rest of the operators will have to make up the difference in funds promised in the bid.

Another new answer clarified that a New York tribal partner could fulfill the role as operator and operate under its own brand as part of a bid. Platform providers will get extra points for signing revenue-share agreements with tribal operators.

No hints on RFP scoring

Just how much a tribal agreement will boost a platform provider’s bid was not answered. The same for multiple other questions that could give some kind of hint for what the RFP will specifically want.

One question pondered if a bid’s score would be hurt if an operator is included in multiple other bids. Another asked if any preferential treatment would be given to platform providers that include New York-based operations.

Those details and more will be released with the RFP, the regulator answered.

Other new mobile NY sports betting bid details

The updated Q&A provided a few additional answers:

  • Each operator under a bid can have its own risk management operations. A platform provider’s role is simply to accept and register all bets.
  • Operators cannot change platforms while under the 10-year license of the bid.
  • Operators do have to provide revenue and tax projections as part of a platform provider bid.
  • Platform providers cannot deduct any costs related to official league data from GGR.

Many non-answers provided too

Do not come at the NYSGC with any hypothetical situations, it seems.

The regulator said it will “not entertain hypothetical scenarios” in response to four questions:

  • Could a platform provider partner with a new sportsbook if that sportsbook can no longer operate?
  • Would failure to follow regulatory or statutory requirements by one sportsbook/vendor affect the platform provider’s license?
  • If a platform provider that entered a joint bid with another platform provider does not follow regulations or other requirements, would that affect the non-offending platform provider’s license?
  • If one sportsbook provides intentionally misleading information and performs worse than expected, would the other sportsbooks’ licenses in the bid be at risk?

Competition if mobile NY sports betting not done well

If New York botches the RFP process, it could be left with a mobile betting market that does not interest residents. That will leave them either betting with offshore sportsbooks or sending potential tax dollars across its border.

Residents of New York are already accustomed to betting on sports in New Jersey. As much as 25% of New Jersey sports betting handle is attributed to New York residents.

There is also legal sports betting in Pennsylvania. Both NJ and PA allow remote registration so all a New York resident has to do is cross the border to bet.

Connecticut sports betting is also coming and should launch before NY gets its mobile product live. So, too, could legal single-game sports betting in Canada, giving northern New Yorkers another legal option.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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