NY Mobile Sports Betting RFA Lands; Tax Rate at 50% or More

NY Mobile Sports Betting RFA Lands; Tax Rate at 50% or More
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After an eight-day delay, the New York State Gaming Commission on Friday released its 130-page Request For Applications (RFA) for mobile sports betting providers.

The application process for providers in New York begins Friday with applications due by 4 p.m. on Aug. 9 and a 150-day period to select providers considered for licenses before Dec. 6.

The gaming commission missed its July 1 deadline for revealing the application process.

One of the major stipulations at first glance of the RFA is that an applicant must provide a tax rate that is 50% or more. That’s the figure Gov. Andrew Cuomo sought, which is similar to what New Hampshire sports betting receives from DraftKings Sportsbook, the sole operator in that state.

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

The RFA states: “An applicant must provide a tax rate that is fifty (50) percent or greater for its Preferred Scenario. However, if the Applicant’s Preferred Scenario alone is less that the statutory minimum of two Platform Providers and Four Operators, the Applicant must instead provide a tax rate that is fifty (50) percent or greater for such statutory minimum scenario.”

Other provisions in the RFA: Bettors must be 21 or older; betting on college sports is allowed (but not on events not considered a “sports event”); payment options; and responsible gambling measures sought by the state.

Even though the RFA was delayed, a key lawmaker throughout the legislative process the last few years said he is glad it’s finally here.

“It’s good to see New York take one step closer to providing a quality, premier mobile sports betting product for its residents and realizing the educational funding, jobs and anti-addiction, along with youth sports funding measures that come along with it,” state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D), chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, said in a text Friday to Gambling.com.

Addabbo has been optimistic that the online sports betting market in New York could launch before the 2022 Super Bowl. The biggest handle and revenue months for states generally are ones involving NFL betting.

Scheduling Process

On July 16, applicants’ first questions are due to the gaming commission by 3 p.m. ET with the commission’s response to those coming six days later on July 22.

Applicants’ second questions are due on July 27 by 3 p.m., with the commission’s response to that on Aug. 2.

With applications due on Aug. 9, oral presentations of those applications may begin on Sept. 1 and a selection of applicants considered for licensure will come before Dec. 6.

One week after notification of need for amendment, amended applications will be due by 4 p.m. and the award of licenses will then be announced at the next NYSGC meeting.

FAQ Updated in Early June

On June 3, the NYSGC provided a second round (first was in late April) of answers to provide some clarity on questions relating to the new legislation. It provided an update to six more questions in categories posted on the commission's website: The Mobile Sports Wagering Platform Provider and Commercial Casino Relationship; The Request for Application Process; Tribal Gaming Considerations; Tax Rate and Fee Considerations; Licensing Matters; Mobile Sports Operation.

In April, after months of negotiations, the legislature approved Cuomo’s confusing sports betting proposal that brings online sports betting to New York.

Competitive Bid Process

Sports betting providers will be chosen through a competitive bidding process. The state’s Gaming Commission will determine the best platforms and operators for New York long term.

The proposal authorizes the state’s Gaming Commission to solicit bids from interested platforms (a minimum of two) and operators (a minimum of four). Platforms that opt to partner with a Native American tribe or nation will be given additional points in the bidding/scoring process.

Four operators currently have sportsbooks at four up-state casinos: DraftKings Sportsbook (Del Lago), FanDuel Sportsbook (Tioga Downs), Bet365 (Empire Resorts) and BetRivers (Rivers Casino). Each will likely go through the RFA process for mobile sports betting. But the casino agreements likely won’t factor into the final selection process.

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