Bally Bet to Face a Tough Fight in New York after Delayed Launch

According to industry insiders, sportsbook operator Bally Bet may finally launch in New York within the next week. The Rhode Island-based brand will be the last of the state’s nine regulated sportsbooks to launch and will face an uphill battle to secure a market share.

Recent Launch Delays Could Be an Intentional Move by Bally’s

The latest official statement regarding Bally Bet’s New York debut comes from Lee Fenton, the company’s CEO. According to him, the operator’s new branch would launch by the end of Q2, but speculations of further delays have been plaguing the brand for the last few months. According to Fenton, the main reason for the delay was the operator’s focus on updating its sports betting app. The company recently launched its 2.0 platform in Arizona, with New York reported following “later this quarter.” Fenton noted that management was closely monitoring the NY betting scene and devising the best strategy to navigate such a high-tax environment. 

Soo Kim, chairman at Bally’s, stated that the delay was also a deliberate choice to avoid the fierce competition during the initial introduction of sports betting to the state. According to him, the company had long-term plans and wished not to overspend on promotions in the initial “insane” rush to market. “The public markets tend to be very short-term minded,” Kim stated, noting that operators focused more on attracting clients with “free money” instead of striving to provide a quality product.

Bally Bet May Struggle in New York’s Competitive Climate

Bally’s faces stiff competition as the last operator to launch in New York. Other high-profile brands such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars, have had months to consolidate their positions after regulated sports betting entered the state on January 8. 

Bally Bet already missed the Superbowl and March Madness- two vital customer acquisition periods. The operator would have to offer some significant promotions to have a chance against the competition, though even then, securing a meaningful market share could prove difficult. Caesars offered launch promotions of up to $3,300, had the advantage of being one of the first operators to arrive, and still managed to lose 20% of its initial market share. It now stands in third place after FanDuel and DraftKings.

Even if rumors of Bally Bet’s next-week launch are false, the operator should still make it to market by September 8, when the NFL season kicks off. The new betting opportunities will highlight whether Bally’s strategy to skip the initial scramble for market share was correct. If the operator fails to secure a meaningful market share, Bally’s may take quite a while to turn a profit in New York, considering the state’s 51% tax.

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