Is the New York Market All It’s Cracked Out to Be?

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For many years, operators, suppliers, and of course affiliates have been hoping that New York would embrace legal mobile sports betting. That moment has now come, with the state taking its first legal sports bets on 8 January.

But despite having huge potential, it’s not necessarily going to be an easy ride for affiliates looking to enter the market. Below, we’ll look at the operators currently live and how the state has performed to date – plus what the biggest concerns are.

Which Operators are Live in New York?

Nine operators have been awarded licenses in the New York sports betting market so far. Of these, five have gone live at the time of writing.

The sportsbooks that have gone live in the Empire State so far are:

  • BetRivers
  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • Caesars

How Has the New York Market Performed to Date?

New York’s mobile sports betting market enjoyed a significant launch, with its volume over the first 36 hours beating neighbouring Pennsylvania by more than double.

According to GeoComply, there were eight million location checks in New York City alone; the city’s population is just over 8.8 million.

In the first 12 hours of legalized mobile sports betting in New York, operators handled around 5.8 million transactions in total with more than $150m wagered in the opening weekend across 650,000 active player accounts – big numbers, indeed.

What are the Biggest New York Market Concerns?

Despite the potential the New York market clearly has, some experts have raised concerns. The first is that the tax rate for operators is too high – we’re talking 52% on sports wagering revenue.

Another concern is the potential short-termism of success. One reason that New York’s sportsbooks did so well at the launch is that they offered a significant number of bonuses. But as Regulus commented, and as reported by Legal Sports Report:

“Early aggressive bonusing to try to gain share … is basically the industry digging a hole for itself faster.

“With nine brands currently or soon to be in action, there is just enough competition for the industry to engage in mutually assured destruction.”

Things That Affiliates Must Consider

It’s not surprising that many affiliates are looking to get a slice of the action in New York, and the market will grow in years to come. But before you take the leap, you need to consider several things.

The good news is that unlike in New Jersey, affiliates do not need to secure a license to target players in the state so long as they are working to a cost per acquisition model. Instead, they simply need to enter into a contract with one of the licensed sportsbooks.

But one thing worth thinking about is the competition in the New York market. As one of the largest states with legal sports betting and a sports-mad population, the number of affiliates you’ll jostle with is fierce and includes some of the large publicly listed affiliate powerhouses.

That is not to say smaller affiliates can’t compete, but they will need to focus on creating engaging and valuable content that will certainly involve using statistics and unique insights.