When the New York senate bill was passed to legalize sports betting in all forms (retail, online and mobile), it was stated there would only be nine operators awarded licenses.
Sportsbooks had to apply for the available licenses. Then, regulators inspected all the proposals and decided whether to award them to operators or not.
The nine sportsbooks granted permission to launch their new mobile betting apps and online sportsbook sites were; BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, Resorts World, WynnBET, and BallyBET. So far, however, only the first eight of those operators have launched as intended, with BallyBet still yet to officially launch in New York.
Nonetheless, with how big the market is in New York, constantly breaking records of bets handled and tax revenue raised, it opens the idea of possibly allowing more operators into the Empire State. It could create more competition, which would benefit the consumer and would mean more jobs that would ultimately benefit the economy.
It Has Already been Suggested
You may remember that a while back, we reported on operators requesting a cut in the tax rate in New York, with the BetMGM Chief Financial Officer, Gary Deutsch, quoted as saying:
Players would never continue to play if the house always won, and the house cannot continue to play if it’s always going to lose.
One possible solution put forward by Senator Joseph Addabbo, alongside Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, was to increase the number of licenses offered out in the state, to allow them to increase tax revenue even if they cut tax rates. However, this notion was subsequently rejected.
It could come up again later this year, but the current session of the New York Assembly to raise such issues has already been closed.
Fanatics Developments Suggest More Sportsbooks Could be on Their Way
The fantasy sports company Fanatics has recently made some major changes. Firstly, they recently trademarked the name BetFanatics, and have applied for licenses in some states such as Maryland, which is currently going through the process of legalizing sports betting.
Secondly, regarding Fanatics, CEO Michael Rubin recently sold his stakes in two sports franchises he owned, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He went on to say in a statement on Twitter:
With the launch of our trading cards and collectibles business earlier this year – which will have individual contracts with thousands of athletes globally – and a soon-to-launch sports betting operation, these new businesses will directly conflict with the ownership rules of sports leagues.
Given these realities, I will sadly be selling my stake in the Sixers and shifting from part-owner back to a life-long fan.
This frees him up to do business in the sports betting industry without the attachment to a particular team that he could be accused of colluding with, which demonstrates exactly how serious Fanatics are about this new venture.
With more big-name operators looking to launch their own sportsbooks online as well as releasing mobile sports betting apps, it makes sense that many of these companies will want to expand. In addition, since New York is being dubbed the sports betting Mecca of the US, inevitably operators will want to head to the state where more bets are handled than anywhere else (though they may not want to arrive right away with the high tax rates).
Nonetheless, even if they don’t expand the number of licenses available in New York, the CEO of BetMGM hints that they could in fact leave the market if conditions don’t improve, which could leave an opening for Fanatics or another provider to swoop in and vill the void.