The inclusion of mobile sports betting in New York‘s Fiscal Year 2022 budget established a framework that will eventually allow sports bettors to wager on their smartphones — through select legal channels — across the nation’s fourth-largest state. No longer will New Yorkers face the inconvenience of speeding across the George Washington Bridge to legally wager on their favorite teams, or of funneling funds to faraway lands. State-sanctioned mobile sports betting is expected to be live in New York by the 2022 Super Bowl.
The New York Gaming Commission has been tasked with running the high-stakes bidding process. Per state law, the commission will select a minimum of two platform providers and four mobile sports betting operators to team with the state in running online sports wagering under a public-private partnership. A platform provider will be in charge of operating the hardware, software, and data networks needed to facilitate mobile sports wagers placed by New York customers.
Mobile sports wagering operators, meanwhile, will offer their bets on wagering systems run by the platform provider. Interested applicants have the option of submitting bids as both a platform provider and an operator, according to a 130-page Requests For Applications issued by the commission in July.
Who'll be in or out in the (generally) coveted NYS online betting market?
Today the commission outlined a scoring methodology for the state's mobile sports wagering bidding process in the 130-page document.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) July 9, 2021
Two companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, are widely viewed as the presumptive frontrunners to land contracts with New York. Cuomo mentioned both companies by name in April as the type of companies that fit the blueprint in partnering with the state. A third, BetMGM, also meets the qualifications of a large gaming company with enough liquidity to absorb a revenue-sharing percentage.
Over the last couple of weeks, Sports Handle has compiled a list of companies that have expressed interest in entering the bidding process. The New York Tracker is based on interviews with several prominent gaming executives, as well as industry consultants and experts. Based on the interviews, a bevy of top companies have entertained the possibility of joining forces under a so-called “super bid.” Instead of flying solo with an individual proposal, a super bid will encompass a few of the industry’s top players through a consortium of platform providers and operators.
As of July 29, none of the companies confirmed the submission of their application to the commission. As always, a company can abandon tentative plans to enter the bidding process before the applications are formally submitted.
|Oneida Indian Nation||July 20|
|Scientific Games||July 30|
In 2019, DraftKings beat out about a dozen other competitors to win a bid from the New Hampshire Lottery to run mobile sports wagering across the Granite State. In New Hampshire, DraftKings is paying the state 51% of its gross gaming revenue from its online wagering channel for statewide exclusivity. While New Hampshire’s law would have allowed multiple licensees to participate in the market, the lottery accepted DraftKings’ bid and the monopoly route. FanDuel, Kambi, Roar Digital (BetMGM), and IGT/William Hill were among others to compete for the contract. A handful of companies commented publicly on New York’s legalization of mobile sports betting this spring, including BetMGM. The companies widely praised the state for taking the steps to broaden a market that was previously limited to four upstate casinos.
|NYRA Bets||July 15|
Earlier in July, NYRA Bets CEO David O’Rourke announced that the company will not seek a mobile sports betting license in New York. In May, the New York Racing Association unveiled a partnership with BetMGM, where NYRA Bets became BetMGM’s first horse racing partner. While NYRA Bets will continue to explore pathways to leverage sports betting as a customer acquisition tool, NYRA has no intention to become a licensee.
Still weighing options
PointsBet, an Australian bookmaker, accepts legal sports wagers in several states — most notably New Jersey, Illinois, and Colorado. Last August, NBCUniversal acquired a 4.99% stake in PointsBet in a deal valued at approximately $500 million. TheScore, meanwhile, is considered by some digital experts to have one of the largest mobile sports presences across North America. In February, Toronto-based theScore began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market after completing a U.S. initial public offer. As of July 28, U.S.-listed shares of theScore on Nasdaq had a market capitalization of $820.1 million.
|Barstool Sportsbook||July 28|
|Caesars/William Hill||July 28|
|FOX Bet||July 28|
|Golden Nugget||July 28|
|Hard Rock||July 28|
|Twin Spires||July 28|
Bet365, a European sports betting company, already operates a retail sportsbook at Resort World Catskills in Monticello. Bet365, which became an MLB authorized gaming operator in 2019, also maintains partnerships with several English Premier League and Spanish La Liga clubs in Europe. Barstool Sportsbook and Caesars/William Hill are two others to watch. In February 2020, Penn National Gaming completed the acquisition of a 36% stake in Barstool for $163 million. Last December, Barstool Sports President Dave Portnoy criticized Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for instituting a temporary ban of indoor dining at New York City restaurants due to COVID-19. In response, The Barstool Fund, a crowdsourcing campaign launched by the company, raised more than $25 million over a 30-day period to support small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Barstool ranked fourth by handle in Pennsylvania last month, with a market share of roughly 8%. Caesars Entertainment operates a sports betting lounge at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Vernon, 35 miles east of Syracuse.
Application submissions are due by 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 9.