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Sportsbooks ready to capitalize on N.Y. market as state launches mobile betting

Mobile sports betting "will go live in New York this week," beginning at 9:00am ET Saturday, according to Yancey Roy of NEWSDAY. N.Y.'s Gaming Commission "gave the green light to four of the nine operators who have secured mobile betting licenses: Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, DraftKings and Rush Street." The commission said that five other licensees -- BetMGM, BallyBet, Resorts World, PoinstBet and WynnBet -- "still are in the process of meeting regulatory requirements and will be launched when they do." The companies had to pay a "one-time" $25M licensee fee (NEWSDAY, 1/6). In N.Y., Campanile, Kosman & Rosner note the timing of the launch means bettors "could place wagers" for the last week of regular season NFL games and certainly for the upcoming playoffs and Super Bowl LVI. Caesars Sportsbook has "bankrolled a TV ad blitz to alert New Yorkers it's primed to play mobile sports bookie" (N.Y. POST, 1/7). CNBC’s Contessa Brewer said the timing is "really good news" because the approvals "were expected closer to the Super Bowl." Meanwhile, Brewer noted New York expects $500M in tax revenue by '25, which "could be a real blow though to New Jersey's tax revenue because currently an estimated 20% of New Jersey's mobile betting comes from New Yorkers." Brewer also suggested that with just four operators at launch, and therefore less competition, perhaps the promotional spend on ads and marketing “will be more modest than what we’ve seen” in other states (“Worldwide Exchange,” CNBC, 1/7).

READY FOR ACTION: DraftKings co-Founder Matt Kalish called the New York launch a “highly anticipated day” as the industry is “seeing a tremendous amount of momentum" legislatively. Kalish: “It's a good way to raise tax revenue, create jobs in the state, fund projects that are important, but the biggest issue for us is really the consumer side, the protections that are available in a legal, regulated market for a sports betting consumer.” Kalish said of DraftKings' marketing strategy, "We execute across a tremendous amount of channels. We have probably one of the more complex media mixes of any company and we've really honed that over the course of many years. We also spent a lot of time understanding what works and doesn't ... (and) we have an incredibly sophisticated engine there that's constantly improving” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 1/7).

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SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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