New York Update: Mobile Sports Betting Regs Posted, Downstate Casino Questions Answered

Posted on: November 29, 2021, 11:44h. 

Last updated on: November 29, 2021, 05:56h.

Another key milestone toward mobile sports betting apps going live in New York took place this past week. On Wednesday, regulations approved by the state’s Gaming Commission earlier this month were posted in the State Register.

New York sign
A welcome to New York sign at the state line in Orange County. Last week, the New York Gaming Commission published the official regulations for mobile sports betting in the State Register. (Image: Famartin/Wikimedia Commons)

The Register is a weekly publication produced by the Department of State that publishes newly enacted regulations. The regulations become effective once they’ve been published.

While that’s obviously a crucial step toward getting apps operational, there are still many other boxes that need to be checked before users can download them and start making wagers.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, issued a statement Wednesday congratulating the Gaming Commission for being ahead of schedule on the process.

As we complete each important step towards offering our residents a premier mobile sports betting product in New York, we must focus on getting the servers negotiated, so that they’re up and running at the approved casinos in order to take the first New York mobile sports bets for some time in January,” said Addabbo, who chairs the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering.

New York state law requires the four commercially licensed casinos to house the servers for the eight platform providers. Each casino will get $5 million for housing the servers. The providers will be responsible for other administrative costs associated with them.

Earlier this month, the Gaming Commission awarded licenses to eight platform providers. They are Kambi, Caesars Sportsbook, Wynn Interactive, PointsBet, FanDuel, Bally Bet, BetMGM, and DraftKings. The nine sports betting operators are Rush Street Interactive, Caesars, Wynn, PointsBet, Resorts World, FanDuel, Bally Bet, BetMGM, and DraftKings.

NYRA Wants E-Wallet for Racing, Sports Betting

The Gaming Commission received seven comments after it posted the initial draft of the regulations.

Among the comments was an inquiry from the New York Racing Association (NYRA), which operates the three largest thoroughbred racetracks in the state. NYRA is interested in offering its advance deposit wagering (ADW) platform in conjunction with sports betting operators. In doing so, it would offer a single “electronic wallet,” which could receive payouts from either a mobile sports betting app or the NYRA Bets ADW.

In response to the comment, the Gaming Commission said any single wallet would need to adhere to articles 10 and 13 of the state’s racing law.

Six months ago, NYRA Bets became BetMGM’s first horse racing partner. BetMGM uses the NYRA platform for its online racing wagering app.

In addition to seeking a single e-wallet, NYRA also supports a bill Addabbo filed with the New York Legislature this month. That bill would allow the state’s racetracks and arenas to partner with sports betting operators and offer kiosks at their locations.

Gaming Commission Answers Casino RFI Questions

The Gaming Commission also published its responses to questions interested parties have submitted about the commission’s Request for Information solicitation for the three downstate casino licenses.

The commission said it will publish information on the size and scope of the casino resorts, the value of the gaming licenses, and its recommendations for an evaluation process for awarding licenses for lawmakers.

Both Addabbo and his Assembly counterpart, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, favor expediting the process to issue at least two of the three downstate casino licenses before the 2023 time frame that the constitutional amendment voters approved eight years ago.

Addabbo and Pretlow have supported proposals that would allow the VLT casinos at Resorts World Aqueduct and Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway to become full-fledged casinos. As VLT casinos, Resorts World and Empire City cannot offer live table games.

In the Q-and-A document, the Gaming Commission would not commit to allowing a VLT operator to immediately host live table games. Nor would it commit to a timeline for a transition period.

“Terms of a commercial casino license will be considered at the time of a license award,” the commission said.

In addition, should either or both of the VLT casinos become full-fledged casinos, which many expect will happen, the commission said the VLT licenses would not be reallocated. That’s because those locations were established by the state.

The deadline for interested parties to submit a response to the RFI is Dec. 10.