New York Regulators Finally Accepting Mobile Sports Betting Applications

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The New York regulator finally issued the Request for Applications (RFA) on mobile sports betting Friday afternoon, eight days after they were due. The 130-page document containing bidding details for New York mobile sports betting had earlier missed its July 1 deadline for revealing the application process.

According to the RFA, released Friday by the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC), an applicant must pay a tax rate of 50% or more.

The issuance of the delayed RFA formally begins a competitive bidding process after which the NYGC will select at least two platforms and four digital sports betting operators to partner with the Empire State in running mobile sports betting across the state.

The development comes less than three months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed mobile sports betting – which was a part of the fiscal 2022 budget – into law in mid-April.

The commission had nearly two and half months to meet the July 1 deadline to issue the RFA, which was missed last week despite the assurances of a timely release.

Key Details of the RFA

The application process begins Friday the 30-day period (ending Aug. 9) for operators seeking to launch in New York to bid for one of the minimum two platform providers and four sportsbook licenses. The commission will then have 150 days to select the successful candidates it will consider for licenses by Dec. 6.

However, oral presentations on the applications could begin as early as Sept. 1, According to the commission.

Meanwhile, applicants’ first questions are due to the gaming commission July 16; the commission will be responding to those questions on July 22. The second round of questions will follow July 27, with the commission’s response due on Aug. 2.

The most important takeaway from the RFA is that an applicant must provide a tax rate of 50% or more than in order to be considered.

“An applicant must provide a tax rate that is 50% or greater for its Preferred Scenario. However, if the Applicant’s Preferred Scenario alone is less than the statutory minimum of two platform providers and four operators, the Applicant must instead provide a tax of 50% for such statutory minimum scenario,” the RFA states.

How Will the Points Be Awarded to Applicants?

The RFA reflects the governor’s wishes who wanted to see a tax rate of 50% or more for the state in a monopolistic sports betting environment.

Points will be awarded to interested operators based on the proposed taxation, with 20 points awarded to 50% and additional points for each full percentage point over 50% by the applicant.

Bidding operators will have to secure a minimum technical factor score of 60 points out of the possible 75 to be considered a qualified applicant.

Those points are further broken down according to the following criteria:

  • Sports betting expertise: 25 points.
  • Integrity, safety, and sustainability of the platform: 20 points.
  • Past relevant experience: 15 points.
  • Advertising and promo plans: 7.5 points.
  • Ability to rapidly attract bettors into the platform: 2.5 points.
  • Racial, ethnic, and gender diversity-led efforts: 2.5 points.
  • State revenue, and other factors: 2.5 points.

Additional Five Points for Partnering a Tribe

The 75-point plan excludes a five-point bonus to be awarded to any applicant that concludes a revenue-sharing agreement for mobile sports betting with a Native American tribe.

Four operators currently have books at four upstate casinos: FanDuel (Tioga Downs), DraftKings (Del Lago), Bet365 (Empire Resorts), and BetRivers (Rivers Casino).

However, it is not confirmed if the casino agreements will factor into the final selection process.

There is no final launch date for mobile betting in the RFA, and the finalists will be selected before Dec. 6 with licenses awarded at the next commission meeting.

The commission also issued proposed mobile betting regulations attached to the RFA.

Other provisions state betting is allowed for any New Yorker who’s 21 or above. Betting on college sports is also allowed, excluding events not considered “sports events”.

Though there is no official launch date, Sen. Joseph Addabbo – a key lawmaker and backer of mobile sports betting in New York – believes online sports betting in the Empire State could launch before the 2022 Super Bowl.

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