It carries with it a whopping 51% tax rate. But that isn’t spoiling the enthusiasm of the operators launching this weekend.
All along, Howe says they wanted to be ready to go by the time the Super Bowl is played in February. Now, they’ll launch before the playoffs even begin.
Ken Fuchs, the Head of Sports for Caesars, said Friday night will be like New Year’s Eve.
“It’s really important,” she said. “Football is the largest acquisition sport for us. We bring in more consumers through the NFL, through football in general than any other sport.”
This is expected to have a major impact. State officials estimate mobile sports betting will create $357 million in tax revenue for state government next fiscal year, increasing to $474 million the following year, and $493 million the next.
“New York represents 6% of the U.S. population. But it’s a huge moment for FanDuel as well,” explained Amy Howe, the sportsbook’s CEO. “We’re headquartered in New York.”
“There is no state like New York,” he said.
“It’s so much more than New York City. It’s obviously many, many regions. They’re all different. When you come into a state like New York, you really need to understand the differences in terms of where you operate,” added Fuchs.
The sportsbooks are already battling it out for customers. In Western New York, the Seneca Nation is part of that battle. They won’t be launching a mobile sports betting platform, but the Nation continues to operate a sportsbook inside its casinos. In a statement, Seneca Gaming Corporation President Kevin Nephew argued their sports lounges are part of a larger gaming and entertainment experience.
“That experience and environment can’t be replicated in your living room,” Nephew said. With the birth of mobile sports betting in New York comes a concern for organizations which focus on gambling addiction. The field is regulated by the New York State Gaming Commission, which points out it is requiring the sportsbook operators to adopt a “NY-first approach” to problem gambling and responsible gaming.
For instance the Commission requires operators to have an internet page dedicated to responsible play, which includes the availability of self-imposed limits. “In the app itself, we provide world-class tools so you can go in and control your own experience,” said Fuchs. “You can set limits on betting, deposits, and time.”
Angela DiRosa, program manager for the New York Council on Problem Gambling, says mobile sports wagering can also introduce a new generation of bettors to the market. “Some folks may have never gambled before or have never gambled in more traditional means, like a casino or card games,” DiRosa said.
In New Jersey, mobile sports betting was legalized in 2018. That same year, 5.5% of all calls to The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey’s helpline were related to sports book gambling, reported the non-profit dedicated to providing education and referral services for people affected by a gambling problem. Just two years later, in 2020, 23% of all calls were related to such gambling. “They can set wager, deposit, and time limits,” Howe said of FanDuel customers as well. “But there are a number of things that we’re doing to make sure we can better educate and help that consumer.”