After the New York Gaming Commission released the applicants for mobile sports betting licenses, the tiers among sportsbooks crystallized. New York allows one applicant to receive a primary application that allows for four skins. That means FanDuel can apply for a primary license and four other sportsbooks can come with it. (It’s done so with DraftKings, BetMGM, and Bally Bet.) The Kambi Group applied for two primary licenses to bring a total of seven sports betting brands to market. Finally, three sportsbooks are applying solo.
New York’s gaming commission is judging the mobile sports betting applicants on:
- Market expertise
- Platform sustainability, safety, and integrity
- Past experience
- Advertising and promotional plans
- Capacity to quickly and efficiently bring sports betting online
- Diversity and inclusion efforts
- Revenue sharing plans
The best applicants will excel in each of the technical categories and share at least 50% of its revenue with the State. Applicants get additional points for each percentage point of revenue they’re willing to split with New York. When technical expertise and revenue sharing options are the two greatest criteria, it’s easy to see how the groups will likely stack up against each other.
Group 1: FanDuel And Friends
The first group of mobile sportsbooks applicants includes FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Bally Bet. While many analysts have expressed surprise at this group of sportsbooks working together, this grouping makes sense. DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM alone are the three largest sports betting brands in the United States. (Bally Bet likely has a deal with one or all these brands to get in on this application.) FanDuel made the application and the other three signed on.
This group also has the greatest number of local partners. Many sportsbooks across the application groups have partnerships with major sports leagues. However, FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM have partnerships with New York organizations:
|Local New York Partnerships|
|FanDuel||New York Liberty, MSG Networks|
|DraftKings||New York Giants, Del Lago Casino|
|BetMGM||New York Jets, NYRA Bets|
These partnerships range from broadcasting partners, local sports teams, and other igaming companies. If this group wins the bid, then New York can expect special promotions and other features in its sports betting market.
Groups 2 & 3: Kambi’s Double Dip
Kambi is a sports betting company that provides technology for sportsbooks. However, it doesn’t operate sportsbooks themselves. They’re just a major supplier. But its relationships with other sportsbooks gave it the ability to apply for two primary licenses to bring as many as seven sportsbooks to market:
These sportsbooks don’t dominate the markets they’re in, but their welcome bonuses give new bettors additional ways to leverage their money. They also give bettors new opportunities to hunt for the best odds. But by themselves, they don’t command the market share that the first group routinely does.
This group also has fewer local partners than the first group:
|Local New York Partnerships|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Oneida Indian Nation|
|Resorts World||NYRA Bets, Resorts World Casino|
While PointsBet and Barstool Sportsbook have partnerships with major leagues and gaming companies, there’s nothing specific to New York in their partnerships. That would mean fewer team-specific promotions than the first group would likely offer. However, either Kambi group would offer a robust set of sportsbook brands to New Yorkers. The promotional issue would be dwarfed by the dynamic sportsbooks that bettors would gain access to.
Groups 4-6: The Singles
Three good sportsbook brands are applying for New York mobile sports betting licenses by themselves. FOX Bet, theScore Bet, and bet365. theScore is the best sportsbook out of these three. It offers a sports news product that complements its sportsbook, giving bettors the news they need to place informed bets. FOX Bet and bet365 fall behind in that respect. Bet365’s partnership with Empire Resorts may give it market access if bet365 gets a license. But it won’t offer bettors anything that the other sportsbook applicants can’t. FOX Bet and theScore Bet don’t have local partnerships, either.
Any of these sportsbooks would make great additions to a thriving sports betting industry. theScore Bet would be the best because of its full portfolio of sports content and sports betting products. But they’ll likely struggle to compete against the other groups by themselves. If the Gaming Commission’s decision comes down to the wire, these singles could struggle to stand out.
New York’s Most Likely Mobile Sportsbooks
It’s hard to imagine a sportsbook industry without DraftKings, FanDuel, or BetMGM. They’re some of the most popular sportsbook brands in the United States. They have clear advantages in New York’s Gaming Commission’s technical criteria. The Kambi applications can’t be counted out, but they’re not the guaranteed favorites. Finally, the singles are likely applying for stray spaces in New York’s sportsbook market.
Since many of these operators will be competitive in the technical aspect of the application, the revenue sharing piece will be critical. Whoever is most willing to take a small piece of New York’s market will edge ahead of the competition. New York’s Gaming Commission must take at least four applicants, and Group One would cover that minimum requirement with three of the biggest names in the industry and newcomer Bally Bet. However, bettors are guaranteed at least one or two great sportsbooks when the Gaming Commission makes its decision.