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Giant Steps: Legal Online Sports Gaming Hits New York

In what signifies a major breakthrough for iGaming in the USA, online sports betting will be legal in New York State from tomorrow (January 8).

It’s all a far cry from 2015 when online fantasy sports companies threatened to sue the New York State Attorney General for blocking them from receiving bets.

Now, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street Interactive have been given the green light by the state’s Gaming Commission to launch operations.

The four operators “have satisfied all statutory and regulatory requirements necessary to accept and process mobile sports wagering activity and have been approved to commence operations with launch effective no earlier than Saturday, January 8,” the commission said in what is already being called a “historic” statement.

And five more operators–Bally’s Online, BetMGM, Genting’s Resorts World, PointsBet and Wynn Resorts—are also poised to enter the market.

Make no mistake this is massive news for online gaming in the United States.

Where New York goes, the rest is sure to follow – quickly, like tumbling dice.

And New York, the so-called “Empire State” will be challenging its neighbour New Jersey and Nevada for the title of online king soon enough; while no doubt raking-in iGaming betting handles of at least a billion dollars a month — a take similar to that enjoyed by the two aforementioned gaming meccas.

Punters in the state, population 20-million plus, will “respond in huge numbers” to the newly legalised online gaming scene, one industry guru told iGaming Future.

It’s estimated, for example, that at least 20 per cent of New Jersey’s online sports betting market is powered by punters from their bigger brother next door.

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“New York is among the most populated and sports passionate states in the US and will no doubt be one of the largest regulated wagering markets in North America,” Kristian Nylén, CEO of Kambi, who are partnered with Rush Street Interactive told iGF.

“We are excited to launch online in New York State this weekend, along with our partner.

“Being selected to operate in New York by the New York State Gaming Commission underlines the high quality, integrity and reliability of our sports betting technology.”

New York State’s legal iGaming launch comes at a key moment in the US sporting calendar, catching the last week of the NFL’s regular season, the upcoming play-offs and the mega gambling event of the Super Bowl.

Online sports betting was first legalised in the United States by a US Supreme Court ruling in 2018, with Nevada, not surprisingly, being the first state to make the move.

In 2020 New York’s then-Governor Andrew Cuomo accepted what was already a fait accompli and decided to effectively legalise online betting by taxing it.

Legal New York sportsbooks must now be tied to a real-world casino and pay an annual US$5 million fee (£3.69m/€4.42m). Tax is levied at 51 per cent for the first 10-years of operation.

America’s three most populous states, California, Florida and Texas, are expected to follow suit in short time.