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New York Drawing Nearer to Online Sports Betting Start with Publication of Mobile Rules

Retail sports betting is already happening in New York at upstate casinos but online wagering has yet to legally launch, leading some residents of the state to head to Connecticut or New Jersey to access their sportsbooks.

Last Updated:
Nov 24, 2021 4:43 PM ET

Read Time: 2 min

New York has crossed another item off its online sports betting to-do list, keeping the hope alive that legal mobile wagering will start in the state by the Super Bowl.

A notice of the adoption of mobile sports betting rules was published on Wednesday in the New York State Register, an official and weekly update of regulatory activity.

The step is required under New York law, but it checks one more box as the state marches towards the official launch of online sports betting.

The amendment and addition of regulations will also allow the New York State Gaming Commission “to prescribe the rules for mobile sports wagering through servers located at casinos and improve sports wagering regulation at casinos” given the recent changes to gambling law, the notice said.

Winners and losers 

Retail sports betting is already happening in New York at upstate casinos. However, online wagering has yet to legally begin, leading some residents of the state to head to Connecticut or New Jersey to access sportsbooks there instead.    

New York lawmakers got the ball rolling on online sports betting with budget-related legislation that was passed in April and required the gaming commission to award licenses to at least two mobile sports betting platform providers that would host at least four sportsbooks. 

The commission then approved 10-year licenses at a November 8 meeting for two groups whose sports-betting revenue would be subject to a 51-percent tax rate, one of the highest in the country. The first group includes Bally Bet, BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, while the other includes Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET, PointsBet, and BetRivers-owner Rush Street Interactive.

Commissioners were told during the meeting that the recommended bidders would be conditionally licensed if the regulators adopted the proposed rules for mobile wagering. Those rules were subsequently adopted by the commission, hence the notice in the state register. 

“It will be in the control of the recommended bidders when they become operational and thus get to market,” said Robert Williams, the executive director of the commission. 

The details

New York’s chosen sportsbook platforms still have to ensure several regulatory and technical requirements are met before they can go live in the state with legal sports betting.

Those duties range from finding a casino in the state to host their servers to getting an independent lab to test and approve their geolocation software, to paying their one-time licensing fee of $25 million. 

The rules for online sports betting in New York include that players must be 21 years of age or older and that there are publicly accessible internet pages for responsible gambling. Wagers will also not be allowed on a game in which a New York college team is playing. 

Another rule is an online sportsbook operator has to submit all of their promotions for approval at least 15 days before they start running. The notice in the state register included feedback on the rules and said DraftKings had suggested the need to submit a promotion be limited to new ones only. Regulators denied the request. 

“The Commission disagrees, as requiring all promotions to be submitted enhances regulatory control and best protects consumers,” the notice said.