New York Maintains Limit on Mobile Sportsbook Operators
Since Jan. 8 of this year, the legal US sports betting industry has revolved around the state of New York. That was the first day that online sports betting was available through US-based mobile sportsbook operators.
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As they say, the rest is history. New York went on to set a new national record with a $1.6 billion sports betting handle for January with limited operators and only three weeks of betting action. Heading into this year’s NCAA Tournament, New York sportsbook operators took in more than $4 billion in sports betting volume in less than three months.
In light of this overwhelming success, certain New York lawmakers considered the idea of adding more mobile operators as part of the 2023 fiscal year budget. Going back to last year, when the proper legislation was put into place to legalize mobile sports betting, the number of operators was capped at nine.
The proposed language in the new state budget expanded that number to as many as 16 sportsbooks. However, that language was left out of the final draft in the revised Senate and Assembly compromise budget bill which was introduced earlier this month.
A separate Senate proposal would have authorized up to 14 operators by 2023 while adding two more in 2024. That plan was also left out of the budget process. State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. was highly influential in bringing legal mobile sports betting to New York as one of its strongest proponents. He recently stated that the idea of expansion would be reconsidered in 2023.
This means that the list of the original nine mobile sportsbook operators will remain the same for the foreseeable future. Any change at this point would have to include state legislative approval.
The process for expansion was part of the rules and regulations determined by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYGC). The NYGC is the official regulatory agency overseeing legal sports betting statewide.
The NYGC has previously stated that “future mobile sports betting operators won’t be authorized under the Commission’s interpretation of present law.” This was part of a Q&A document included in the 2021 RFA (request for application) that set the stage for legal mobile sports betting in the state.
The first four mobile sportsbook operators to go live in New York on Jan. 8 were FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook and BetRivers. BetMGM joined this list on Jan. 17 followed by PointsBet on Jan. 24.
WynnBET became the seventh operator to go live in New York with its mobile app on Feb. 3. Resorts WorldBET led off last month with an official launch on March 3. The ninth and final approved mobile sports betting operator in the state is Bally Bet.
There is still a possibility that Bally Bet will be able to launch its mobile sports betting app in April as part of the company’s original plans for the New York market. However, there has been no formal announcement with a set date.
Given the early results across the Empire State, it appears that the eight active mobile sportsbook apps are more than capable of handling a substantial amount of legal betting volume. In light of New York’s incredible monthly betting volume, this is now the biggest sports betting market in the US among the 30-plus states offering legal sportsbooks.
The previous leader was neighboring New Jersey. From September of last year through January of 2022, the Garden State posted a monthly sports betting handle in excess of $1 billion. Prior to New York’s launch, it was estimated that as much as 20% of New Jersey’s legal sports betting volume could be attributed to New York bettors crossing state lines.
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