New York Sports Betting Apps Licenses

The path to online New York sports betting has had its trials and tribulations, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for bettors in the Empire State. Some New Yorkers might be surprised to learn that sports betting was effectively legalized in the Empire State back in 2013. This law was passed at the state level, and the federal ban on US sports betting wasn’t lifted until the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018.

New York legalized retail sportsbooks at casinos in 2019 with no new legislation needed. After the Supreme Court ruling, the next thing that needed to happen was for the Gaming Commission to issue regulations governing the conduct of sports betting. The Commission did so in June 2019, and the first sportsbooks opened the following month.

Tribal casinos also gained the authority to open retail sportsbooks by extension due to gaming compacts that allow them to offer the same types of gambling as commercial casinos.

Mobile sportsbooks came to New York through a budget bill approved in 2021 and signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

The NY online sports betting regulations are loosely worded, but the key points follow:

  • It directed the NY Gaming Commission to select two mobile sports betting platform providers after receiving bids from interested parties
  • Each platform provider operates at least two standalone sportsbook apps
  • The state expects to receive at least 51% of each platform’s revenue
  • New York may approve additional platforms and skins if doing so is “in the best interests of the state”

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) regulates sports betting, and its primary duties include approving necessary regulations, issuing licenses, and monitoring licensees for compliance with all rules.

Licensing, Fees, and Taxes

The New York Gaming Commission is in charge of regulating mobile sports betting in the state, and back in July 2021 they requested applications to select one or more sportsbook operators to offer mobile betting statewide. It was up to the operators to detail in their application how much they were willing to hand over to the state in the form of a tax rate. On November 8, it was announced that nine operators would receive permits, each paying a jaw dropping 51% tax rate, which is most definitely one of the highest tax rates in the country. Sports betting platform providers will also have to pay a $25 million one-time licensing fee and $5 million per year to the casino housing their servers.

The New York State Gaming Commission approved 10-year licenses for nine operators in total. These operators applied in two consortiums:

  • The “Kambi Group,” which includes Rush Street Interactive, Caesars Sportsbook, the online arm of Wynn Interactive, Resorts World, and PointsBet
  • The FanDuel Group, which includes FanDuel, the online arm of Bally’s, BetMGM, and DraftKings

Through these two applications that combined the companies into two super-applications (one application had 4 operators and the other had 5), the companies were able to strategize and came up with a plan to maximize their chances of being approved. After the curtain got called the bottom line is that the nine operators mentioned above are either already up and running, or are about to, with each paying a 51% tax rate.

As part of their agreement, each group has partnered with tribal nations in the state to circumvent worries that the agreement would intrude on the state’s longstanding deal granting exclusive gambling rights to indigenous nations. The FanDuel group is partnered with the Seneca Nation in western New York, while the Kambi Group will work with the Oneidas and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe on the Canadian border.

All things considered though, even 49% of the potential revenues from mobile sports betting in the state of New York is a great deal of revenue. This immediately made New York one of the largest markets in the country and is likely to end up overtaking New Jersey as the #1 sports betting state, purely based on revenue.

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