new york online sports betting

Robert Linnehan

Can one platform provider win two New York online sports betting licenses? What happens if a platform provider or operator goes out of business before a sports betting license expires? What is the big difference between a platform provider and an operator? The New York Gaming Commission updated its frequently asked questions earlier this month to provide answers to a bevy of queries from potential license applicants.

The gaming commission will choose a minimum of two platform providers and at least four operators for its online sports betting program. The process will begin with a request for application (RFA) published by at least July 1.

Interested companies submitting platform provider bids will also include a minimum of four mobile sports operators, or skins, for state gamblers to utilize.

This is the second time the commission has updated its FAQ section.

Who Can Apply For a New York Online Sports Betting License?

The application process is open to any potential platform providers who submit bid packages with at least two operators it’s willing to work with, potential gross revenue estimates, potential tax rate it’s willing to pay the state, past experience in the field, a timeline of its potential operations and a potential plan to enter into revenue sharing agreements with the state’s Native American tribes or nations.

The gaming commission will accept at least two platform providers based on the strength of their bid packages and at least four operators. An operator, the commission notes, will be the consumer facing entity in the online sports betting program. The platform provider will be the “back of the house” system that accepts and records wagers brought in through the skin apps. Operators must use the technology built by the platform providers for the acceptance and processing of all wagers.

A platform provider may also serve as an operator as well. For example, if DraftKings submitted a bit that was accepted by the commission to serve as a platform provider, it could also serve as one of the online sports betting providers, or apps, for state bettors.

The commission noted in its recent update that a single platform provider can submit more than one bid package with different operators and theoretically be awarded multiple online sports betting licenses.

If awarded two licenses, the platform provider would have to pay each $25 million license fee.

Tribal Considerations for New York Online Sports Betting

Each bid package will receive a score from the gaming commission. Scoring criteria will be released when the RFAs are released, but the commission did note that platform operators who have agreed upon revenue shares with Tribal Nations in their package “will receive additional point consideration when its bid is scored.”

The commission noted that individual Tribal Nations can also submit bid packages to serve as a platform provider or an operator.

Q: Is it legally permissible for a compacted Nation or Tribe to fulfil the role as an operator
and operate under its own brand?

A: Yes.

If a Tribe does not own the necessary sports betting technology to serve as an operator or platform provider, the gaming commission noted it could enter into an agreement with an established operator or platform provider and submit a bid.

Timeline Of The New York Online Sports Betting Program

Timing will be key for the New York online sports betting program, as the lucrative NFL season is set to begin by September. After platform provider bid packages are received by Aug. 1, the gaming commission has 150 days to make a decision. It is unknown at this point if the entire 150 days will be needed to come to a final decision and a timeline cannot be provided, according to the commission.

No date has been targeted by the commission to have the online sports betting system operational.

The Commission has no preference but will seek to have the system operational as soon as practicable.

Additional Sports Betting Answers

The New York Gaming Commission provided several other points of clarification in its latest update as well:

  • If several companies submit a bid package together and one of them goes out of business, the gaming commission noted the license would stay in effect as long as revenue continues to be generated to the state at its estimated level.
  • The commission has no preference for the amount of operators included in a platform provider’s bid, as long as its a minimum of two.
  • Operators are expect to include revenue estimates in a platform provider’s bid.
  • An operator cannot change technology platforms in the future.
  • Additional points will be awarded by the gaming commission to a platform provider who enters into a revenue sharing agreement with multiple Tribes.