New York has finally declared the winners of two licenses in mobile sports betting, after many years of delays. But residents might still need to wait months before they can start to gamble on their cellphones. The state Gaming Commission decided to issue two licenses, but not to Jay-Z. The rapper had teamed with two companies in order to bid for a license. Instead, it opted to issue two broad coalitions which included some of the biggest names in gaming.
New York’s Mobile Sportsbooks Get Rolling
Wynn Interactive and Caesars Sportsbook joined forces with Resorts World — which is owned both by Genting (one of the biggest gambling companies in the world) as well as Rush Street, the Chicago-based company that runs a Schenectady-based casino.
DraftKings and FanDuel are both in the second consortium, which also included BetMGM and Bally’s Interactive.
New York bettors cannot immediately place wagers at home, though. Technical details and testing must be approved by the state for gaming platforms. However, industry observers believe that systems should be in place by February 13, the day of the next Super Bowl.
New Jersey residents have been able to place wagers on sporting events through their smartphones or mobile devices since 2018, which has proved advantageous for some New Yorkers. Pennsylvania has legalized mobile sports betting since 2018. Online gambling for casino games, such as roulette and blackjack, is also available in Pennsylvania.
Mobile Sports Betting to Give New York a Boost
After years of false starts, Albany legislators have approved the expansion to mobile sports betting as part of this year’s state budget process. Although lawmakers made a deal to allow betting on four casinos in upstate New Jersey, they failed to match New Jersey’s regulations, disappointing supporters of expanded gaming.
On Monday, lawmakers who supported the legislation were disappointed that the companies chosen did not appear as diverse as they had hoped.
“I’m truly disappointed that the Gaming Commission is making a serious error in not being inclusive, and just going back to the good old boy systems,” said Assemblyman Gary Pretlow from Westchester County, a Democrat who heads the chamber’s Committee on Racing and Wagering. “We’re just playing around with the same people.”
Monday’s announcement by commissioners indicated that although the evaluation process considered whether bidders would foster racial, ethnic and gender diversity in their workforce, and more weight was placed on factors like expertise, experience and other relevant factors.
Both winning consortiums expect to launch up to nine online casinos. New Jersey has nearly a dozen licensed operators (including casinos and racetracks) that have partnered almost two dozen online bettors.
Pulling Bettors Back Home
Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., a Queens Democrat, serves as the chairman of the racing, gaming, and wagering committee. He expressed hope that New York gamblers that now use New Jersey’s online options will “switch and stay” once the betting sites go live. He stated, “We’ve got to be competitive. We’re asking New Yorkers to come to us, and stay with us.”
New Jersey’s success in mobile betting has been huge. In September, it announced that the state had made $1 billion in sports bets in one month. This was the majority of betting done via smartphones or other devices. According to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, this resulted in $46 million of tax revenue.
New York’s winning combinations will pay a 51% tax on bets made and a $200 million fee. The licenses will be valid for 10 years.