Work Remains Before New York Online Sports Betting Can Launch

Written By Mike Mazzeo on November 17, 2021 - Last Updated on January 7, 2022
New York Online Sports Betting Launch

New York is on the verge of launching legalized online sports betting. 

But before that can happen, before the first NY betting apps roll out in early 2022, some boxes remain unchecked by providers and operators, namely making sure servers are secure and operational for customers to be able to place their bets. 

As Sen. Joe Addabbo told PlayNY in a recent interview:

“The servers will always be, if not a concern of mine, something that I need to focus on. Because every time I interact or email (NY State Gaming Commission executive director) Rob Williams, it’s about the servers now. We have to get them up and running, because that’s what validates the mobile bet.” 

Regulators must adopt NY online betting regulations

In a week’s time, on Nov. 24, New York regulators could finalize rules and regulations for the mobile wagering industry. So conceivably, operators could go live with their NY betting apps shortly thereafter.

But the process could take several weeks

Addabbo told PlayNY he’s “realistically optimistic” that the first bet could be placed sometime during the NFL playoffs in January, setting the stage for online sports betting to be fully up and running by the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.

How quickly regulators can adopt those regulations will certainly help speed up the process a bit.

NY online betting operators must house servers at casinos

Servers must be placed on location at any of the state’s four upstate commercial casinos: Rivers, del Lago, Resorts World or Tioga Downs. Sportsbooks would presumably be incentivized to get up and running first to get ahead of the game, thus creating competition. With a population of over 20 million as of the 2020 census, New York boasts plenty of potential customers for the taking.

“Winning bidders may select a facility to house servers, with the Commission retaining final approval of location as well as reasonable and actual costs,” a New York State Gaming Commission spokesman told PlayNY. “Each needs to build out a server room, and equipment has to be tested and approved by an independent testing laboratory.” 

That brings us to a third important step.

Regulators must test NY online betting tech

As has been the case in every state that has launched legalized online sports betting, regulators in New York must test all technology from operators.

Fortunately, in most cases, this process takes relatively little time.

Typically, a sportsbook operator will go through what’s been called a “soft launch period,” during which a select group of individuals place wagers through betting apps. This testing phase usually takes only a couple of days, giving way to full launches of online sportsbooks.

New York, which aims to keep bettors in-state following launch, cannot afford any technical issues. It has been losing revenue to neighboring states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and even Connecticut, as well as illegal bookmakers.

Questions remain for NY online sports betting: namely 51% tax rate

It was just over a week ago that the NYSGC selected nine sportsbooks to launch online in the Empire State.

Selected operators include:

These sportsbooks will have the luxury of tapping into the much-desired New York market. But they will certainly pay for it, as the state will levy a staggering 51% tax rate on those sportsbooks.

It remains to be seen just exactly how that will affect marketing, promos and lines, though many have expressed concern over the situation. 

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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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