There is no firm date for Bally Bet to launch in New York, a spokesperson for the sportsbook told PlayNY.
Bally’s CEO Lee Fenton had said on the company’s latest earnings call that Bally Bet NY would launch by the end of the first half of 2022 — or before July 1. There have been some industry rumblings, though, that it could potentially be later this summer.
Bally Bet stands as the only one of the nine authorized online sportsbooks in New York that hasn’t launched. There had been earlier targeted launch dates, but the operator was working on introducing its 2.0 app technology.
Bally’s chairman Soo Kim told CNBC in late January:
“We have a longer-term plan. We think that the current version of sports betting is not a great business. It’s a fine business but not a great business.
“We think that there will be a wave of consolidation that will rationalize promotions but more importantly I think people will just stop competing with free money but people will start competing with product.”
Late launch for Bally Bet NY, but still in time for NFL
Even if the Bally Bet New York launch is delayed until later this summer, that would still be before the start of the NFL regular season on Sept. 8. That would seemingly be a smart period to generate buzz and provide a few weeks to ensure the tech holds up with higher traffic flow.
With several NY sportsbooks already cutting back significantly on marketing and promotional spend, Bally Bet plans to take a similar approach.
Fenton said during the May 5 earnings call:
“In New York, we will be cautious as we keep a keen eye on marketing spend and how to navigate a high tax environment in sports betting.”
New York’s 51% tax rate has produced over $270 million in revenue through May 29. But operators have repeatedly complained about the rate and lobbied — unsuccessfully — for a reduction by way of expansion.
The state, though, has cleaned up financially and has no reason to change things. The 51% tax rate will likely be revisited, with operators concerned about the path to profitability — which they’ve said can happen in 2-3 years.
NY sports betting already has established brands
Gaining any ground will be a daunting task for Bally’s in New York.
Through May 29, FanDuel (39%), DraftKings (24%), Caesars (22%) and BetMGM (9%) have combined for 94% of the market share. The remaining fraction breaks down like this: PointsBet (3%), BetRivers (2%) and WynnBet and Resorts WorldBet (combined for less than 1%).
As for sports betting revenue share, FanDuel (44%), DraftKings (23%) and Caesars (23%) combined for 90% through May 20.
Still, FanDuel and DraftKings have led the lobbying charge on a tax reduction. And Caesars has cut back significantly after offering massive promotions in the early going.
Under the direction of Queens native Kim, Bally’s has also shown interest in obtaining one of NY’s three downstate casino licenses.
“We’re thinking more of the outer boroughs, a place where we think that we can have the convenience for people from New York City, but also to be able to pull from the suburbs,” Kim said.