Is Mobile NY Sports Betting A Mad Dash To Launch First?

Posted on November 24, 2021
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Written By on November 24, 2021

Technically, online NY sports betting is legal for this year’s NFL games on Thanksgiving. There are just no legal mobile books live to take the bets.

Wednesday marked the publication of the rules for mobile New York sportsbooks in the state register. That means any of the nine temporarily licensed operators could go live if they have everything ready.

Along with testing and paperwork approvals, the biggest step left is to get the betting servers into the state’s four commercial casinos. All mobile bets have to be routed through those servers to satisfy the definition of casino gaming.

Whether we see a race to the first launch in New York is still unknown, though.

Addabbo: joint start better for NY sports betting

Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. confirmed to LSR he requested the New York State Gaming Commission set a unilateral start date for the market.

Addabbo’s stance – earlier reported by PlayNY – is a bit out of character. The senator previously told LSR seeing all the business taken by New Jersey sportsbooks makes him “lose his spaghetti” knowing New Yorkers are contributing. It would seem natural to want that tax revenue to start flowing home as soon as it can.

But Addabbo said he’d rather forego that revenue from an early launch to make the market better for his constituents:

“It would just be better for the consumer of New York, really, and the industry if we all got a single start date. Now if an operator is unable to meet that start date set by the gaming commission that’d be unfortunate for them. But it would be fair and also better for the consumer instead of a haphazard who can start, who can’t start.”

Addabbo did not propose a start date. That’s for the NYSGC to do and it’s a bit premature with where the servers stand at this point, he said. But that start is getting closer and he expects the market to be live for NFL betting during the playoffs in January.

“So while the start date today might be premature, I believe we’re inching ever so closer to that start date. As I understand it, my opinion, the negotiations and the progress for the servers has been ongoing and going well. So I think we’re OK. … I jokingly said if we wanted to do a mobile bet by tomorrow, we could, that’s how experienced they are. So I am so confident it will be soon.”

Fixed-odds horse racing, kiosks in stadium coming?

Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow did plenty of work to get mobile NY sportsbooks legalized this year even though they did not look exactly how either wanted. Now, Addabbo is already working to fill in some of those gaps.

“I’m going to be ecstatic when we take our first mobile bet but I know we can do better as a state. I know we can do better in a competitive market. I know we can do better for the people of New York.”

The senator filed S 7536 last week to allow fixed-odds horse betting through mobile sportsbooks. The bill would also allow sports betting kiosks in various facilities like stadiums, arenas and tracks across the state.

Adding another mouth to be fed by sports betting in NY might not be what operators want to hear considering their historic tax of 51% on gross sports betting revenue. Addabbo admitted horse racing might be the easier lift at first but added the kiosks should grow revenue because they would make betting more accessible.

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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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