Up until last Friday, New Yorkers did not know much about how mobile sports wagering besides it being officially included in the state budget and that it will follow Governor Cuomo’s limited-operator model. That is why on April 23, 2021, the New York Gaming Commission has released a 10-page Questions and Answers online document to the public.
The battle for the introduction of mobile sports betting in the state has been a heated one. Governor Cuomo advocated the limited model of operators and assemblymen Pretlow and Addabbo preferred the open market one. However, the legalization comes at a great time since the state is looking for additional revenue in these trying times.
One of the first things that many locals are wondering is when will they be able to access this recently approved gaming change. Candidates for the platform providers slots must apply by July 1. Then the commission will have 150 days to select two providers who will be in charge of the state’s sports betting. Having in mind the review period the launch can occur at the end of this year or the beginning of 2022.
There are two platform provider positions which can be any type of entity from the gambling industry such as commercial or tribal casinos, sportsbook operators, developer companies. Each of the providers, however, can partner up with up to four gaming operators or skins in the initiative. And when applying for the license the provider-candidate must include four potential skin partners in its bids package.
According to state law, the servers for mobile sports platforms must be situated in the four commercially licensed casinos in the state. Those gambling facilities will be receiving a US$5 million annual fee for hosting the provider’s servers. Additionally, the providers must cover all costs that will be required for the adjustment of the server in the casino property.
It seems as the state is looking to position the servers in commercial casinos in order to try and avoid the recent debate with tribal gaming nations. Since no servers will be located on Indian land the legislature believes this will not be considered as a violation of the exclusivity agreement with the tribal corporations.
Potential Suspension of Payments
As there was no clarity regarding the involvement of the tribal nations in the mobile sports wagering launch, this has left Oneida Nation quite upset. The Native-American corporation has claimed that the exclusion of the company from mobile betting would be a violation of the 2013 exclusivity agreement. This could lead to the tribe suspending its state payments amounting to US$70 million per year.
As the New York Gaming Commission awaits the platform provider’s applications, gambling experts point that DraftKings and FanDuel are among the most likely ones. Since the bidding process is expected to favor companies with good tribal connections DraftKings is among the favorites and its shares enjoyed a small rise in value at the beginning of April and a 32% overall increase this year.
Source: “Mobile Sports Wagering Questions and Answers”, New York State Gaming Commission, April 23, 2021