NY Commission Announces Online Sports Gambling Can Start Saturday

Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, Rush Street all cleared to launch, while other five operators must wait
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The New York Gaming Commission announced Thursday that four mobile sports wagering operators have been approved to start offering online wagers as soon as Saturday morning.

Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive all cleared their statutory and regulatory requirements, the commission said, and can begin taking bets as of 9 a.m. ET Saturday. Based on the rollout of online gambling in other states, it’s expected wagering will be available before the kickoff of NFL games on Saturday, comfortably meeting New York’s stated goal of launching sometime before the Super Bowl.

The commission said the five other operators awarded licenses — PointsBet, BetMGM, Resorts World, Bally Bet, and WynnBET — will be permitted to accept wagers on a “rolling basis,” when they satisfy the commission’s requirements.

New York gamblers now will be able to place sports wagers, legally, from the palm of their hand without having to travel to neighboring New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or to one of the state’s four in-person sportsbooks, each of which is at least an hour from New York City.

New York state Sen. Joe Addabbo, one of the most active legislators in moving gambling along in the state, said in a statement the announcement was “great news for New York in terms of revenue, new funding for education, addiction programs, and youth sports, as well as new jobs.”

Instantly the largest legal mobile betting state

New York, the fourth-most populous state, with more than 19 million people, is now the biggest state with online betting since the Seminole Tribe in Florida was forced last month to shut down its digital operation due to a legal challenge. The action generated in New York could be a strong source of revenue for the state, which is taxing such transactions at a 51% rate, tied with New Hampshire for the highest tax rate in the country.

New Jersey is the largest betting market in the U.S. in terms of monthly handle, but New York has the potential to quickly surpass its neighbor. California, the largest state by population, continues to wrestle with how it will roll out legal sports gambling.

Servers for sportsbook operators are being installed at New York’s land-based casinos as required by New York law. The nine operators were approved in November.

Some have fretted that New York’s high tax rate (compared to a 13% rate for mobile betting in New Jersey) could lead gamblers to continue to shop for promotions or better odds in neighboring states.

In an interview with NY Online Gambling’s Matt Rybaltowski on Thursday, Addabbo said the New York operators still have plenty of work to do in terms of marketing, public relations, and refining their products.

“The product not only needs to be competitive, it is a product that needs to play catchup to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the illegal activity,” Addabbo said.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have launched legal sports betting since PASPA was struck down. Previously, single-game sports gambling had been illegal in all states but Nevada.

Photo: Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY

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