New York first legalized sports betting at its commercial casinos back in 2013. However, due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), there was a federal ban in place that prevented the casinos from launching sportsbooks. But when, on May 14th 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that PASPA was unconstitutional, the state was free to launch its sports betting industry.
However, it wasn’t until July 2019 that the state’s sportsbooks began taking their first bets at the casinos. The legislation that passed in 2013 only allowed for retail betting, but in early 2021, the state legislature gave formal approval to the launch of mobile sports betting products based on Governor Cuomo’s model that would see two main operators run the industry with skins licensed to other operators.
The initial hope was that mobile sportsbooks would launch in time for the 2021 NFL season, but delays in the license application and approval process meant that the online industry launched on January 8th 2022.
Who regulates the New York sports betting industry?
The New York sports betting industry is regulated by the New York State Gaming Commission. The Commission is responsible for setting out the rules and regulations for the retail sports betting market along with overseeing the operators application process and the granting of licenses.
The Commission has recently been busy drafting rules and accepting applications for the state’s soon-to-launch mobile sports betting market.
Which legal sportsbooks are available in New York?
Once sports betting legislation came into force following the Supreme Court Ruling of 2018, New York’s casinos were in a position to apply for licenses to launch sports betting products. And in 2019, the state’s first retail sportsbooks started taking bets.
Currently, there are 11 retail sportsbooks operating in New York State.
Akwesasne Mohawk Casino
The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino’s sportsbook officially launched in January 2020 under the name The Sticks Sports Book & Grill. The sportsbook includes betting tellers, 24-hour kiosks, a huge video wall for live events, and a full bar complete dining menu.
DraftKings Sportsbook at Del Lago Resort Casino
The DraftKings Sportsbook at Del Lago Resort Casino is a 6,000-square-foot venue located in the middle of the casino. The sportsbook launched in August 2019 and features self-service kiosks, LED video screens for live events, an odds board, and full dining options.
FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs
The Tiogo Downs sportsbook opened in partnership with FanDuel in July of 2019. This 2,600-square-foot sportsbook features a large video wall for live events, three sports tickers, self-service kiosks, and seating for fans.
Bet365 Sportsbook at Resorts World Catskills
The Bet365 Sportsbook at Resorts World opened in September 2019 and is the closest NY state sportsbook to New York City. The standout features at this sportsbook are the huge screens for live events that are set in a 360-degree arc.
Rivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino
The BetRivers Sportsbook at River Casino launched in July 2019 and features a large video wall for live events, VIP seating areas, self-service kiosks, and 22 HDTVs.
The Lounge with Caesars Sports at Point Place Casino
Point Place Casino opened its Caesars Sports sportsbook in 2019. The large venue features a 24-foot high video wall and 30 individual LED screens for live events. There’s also a VIP section that offers full dining options.
The Lounge with Caesars Sports at Turning Stone Resort & Casino
This was one of the first retail sportsbooks to open in New York State back in August 2019. Much like its sister outlets, this sportsbook features a huge video wall, self-service kiosks, and individual LED screens.
The Lounge with Caesars Sports at Yellow Brick Road Casino
This sportsbook opened just a month after the Verona location. This is a sizeable sportsbook with a 32-foot video wall, VIP fan caves, and a full bar with dining options. Many consider this to be the largest sportsbook in the state.
Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino
The self-branded sportsbook at Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino launched in December 2019. This sportsbook features self-services kiosks, large-screen TVs, lounge seating, and a full bar with dining options.
Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino
This sportsbook opened at the same time as its sister outlet in Allegany Resort and is much the same in terms of decor and features.
Seneca Niagara Casino
Located right by Niagara Falls, this is the third retail sportsbook operated by the Seneca Nation. Again this has virtually the same features as both of the other Seneca sportsbooks.
Sports betting apps in New York
There was hope that mobile sports betting would launch in New York in time for the 2021 NFL season. However, those hopes were dashed as the New York Gaming Commission missed the July 1st deadline to launch bidding for online sportsbooks.
The bidding process got underway on July 8th and the successful operators were announced in early November 2021.
In early January 2022, the New York State Gaming Commission confirmed that four of the nine license holders has been approved for launch on January 8th.
|Sportsbook App||Launch Date|
|DraftKings||8th January 2022|
|Caesars||8th January 2022|
|FanDuel||8th January 2022|
|BetRivers (RSI)||8th January 2022|
|PointsBet||24th January, 2022|
Daily Fantasy Sports in New York
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are legal in New York State. DFS legislation was signed into law on August 3rd 2016 that allowed DFS operators to legally enter the New York market. The legislative move followed a legal battle between the state and the country’s biggest DFS operators.
The state claimed that DFS contests were a form of illegal gambling according to the NY penal code, a position that was upheld by the courts. The operators appealed the decision but in the meantime, the state introduced and passed legislation that made an exception for DFS contests allowing the most popular DFS websites to continue to operate in the state.
DFS operators are taxed at 15% of revenue while the legal age to play is set at 18 or older.
What about online poker in New York?
The Empire State is a great candidate for the legalization of online poker especially given Governor Cuomo’s stance on mobile sports betting. However, any recent attempts to introduce legislation have stalled.
The most successful attempt saw an online poker bill A5250 approved by the Senate in 2017. The bill would see poker classed as a game of skills as opposed to chance but its companion bill stalled derailing the entire process.
Another bill was introduced in 2019 but once again, nothing came of it. That said, should mobile sports betting take off without too much difficulty, it’s likely that the state’s lawmakers will be more open to idea of opening yet another industry that could yield the state significant tax revenues.