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New York Online Sports Betting Licenses Awarded, Opening Huge Market

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 5 mins

New York Online Sports Betting Licenses Awarded, Opening Huge Market

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The growth of online sports betting in North America reached another historic milestone on with the approval of online New York sports betting.

In just the past three weeks, online sports betting has been legalized in Florida and New York. Those two states are ranked third and fourth respectively in terms of population in the United States. Combined, they have 41.85 million people and represent the largest single boost to legal on-line wagering since the infamous 2018 PASPA Supreme Court ruling.

The New York State Gaming Commission on Monday approved two groups of betting providers. Here’s the first group:

This so-called “super group” also includes the New York Yankees, YES Network, the Seneca Nation, the Buffalo Sabres, the Buffalo Bills and Major League Soccer’s NYCFC.

The other group approved to operate mobile sports betting in New York is made up of:

Betting in Florida began quietly a week ago via the Hard Rock Sportsbook app operated by the Seminole Tribe. Betting apps in New York are expected to be up and running before the 2022 Super Bowl, scheduled for Feb. 13. The rules passed by the NYSGC Monday are expected to be formally published no sooner than Nov. 24.

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$1 Billion Annually Could Be At Stake

It’s been estimated that sports betting in New York could generate $1 billion annually in revenues for the sportsbooks. In all, there will nine different providers using eight different platforms in New York following the NYSGC’s decision.

Each operator be paying a 51% tax on their net revenues, the highest in the nation. Even with that confiscatory burden, the betting sites have come to the realization that gaining a hold in Gotham, its surrounding in-state environs and the sports-crazed Buffalo market, is worth the cost.

"New York has the potential to be one of the largest sports betting markets in the U.S. and @BetMGM is particularly well positioned to become a leader in the state,” the operator said in statement after the meeting.

As much as 25% of the betting handle in New Jersey is believed to come from bettors who live in New York. The state is also losing bags of digital cash to those who travel from New York to wager online in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

“New Yorkers represent a significant portion of the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor databases,” added Wynn Interactive CEO Craig Billings.

Operators across the Hudson River in New Jersey give up just 13% of their profits to the state. Operators in neighboring Connecticut pay just 13.75%, while those in Pennsylvania are paying 34%.

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4 Proposals Rejected In NY

Separate proposals put forward by bet365, FoxBET, theScoreBet and a group featuring Penn National Gaming and Fanatics were rejected.

The start of the NYSGC meeting was delayed for more than 45 minutes. It was sidetracked by background chatter, horns and various other sounds by those incapable of hitting their “mute” button. The Commission said it made its decision based on a combination of various criterion that totaled 65 of 75 points on its scale.

Of the six hopeful providers, only three reached that threshold, the two chosen and the one from bet365. That bid was denied in “supplemental analysis,” the commission’s recommendation report said. Its inclusion would have increased the number of betting platforms from 8 to 9 and the number of operators from 9 to 10.

However, the committee was “unable to make a positive recommendation” that the addition of bet365 would be the “best interests” of the state. The addition of the operator would have lowered the overall tax rate to 50%.

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Florida Lawsuits Persist

Mobile sports bettors in Florida may or may not have enjoyed legally wagering on their first full NFL betting weekend. Underdogs went 9-3 in the 12 games played on Sunday. Florida bettors were able to wager smoothly and without any major reported problems though the Hard Rock app.

The Seminole holds a monopoly on online sports betting in Florida thanks to a compact agreed to by the state and the Tribe earlier this year. The 30-year deal, which includes the addition of craps and roulette at Indian-run casinos, went into effect on Aug. 11 after the Department of Interior allowed a 45-day review period to lapse without formal opposition.

Sports betting became legal in Florida on Oct. 15, but it could still be halted. A federal judge last week heard arguments in a pair of lawsuits filed in opposition to the compact that allows it. One suit was filed by a casino-owner West Flagler Associates against the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. Another suit was filed by a consortium of those opposed to the expansion of gaming in the state. They sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, among others.

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.