SBC Leaders: New York – the US’ next big powerhouse

New York

Issue 19 of the SBC Leaders magazine delved into a range of key issues across the gambling landscape, with new technologies, responsibility in slots design, Latin American differentiation, and a restructuring of the B2B technology partnership model all examined.

In addition to all of that, the much publicised introduction of New York into the US’ betting ecosystem was also too large to be ignored. So in a two-part special to be published on consecutive days, CasinoBeats revisits the debate.

The Empire State has dominated a huge chunk of the industry agenda since its much anticipated online sports wagering debut in January, with the record pace that has followed being well documented.

With a reported 1.2 million accounts created amid a deluge of betting across the five sportsbooks authorised a little over a week after the action began, it was only a matter of time before records across regulated US jurisdictions began to topple like dominoes. 

As more operators entered the fray on an as and when basis, Lindsay Slader, managing director of gaming at GeoComply, and Sarah Robertson, SVP of sales at Kambi, assessed the main talking points, potential threats, and which North American regions, if any, pose a challenge to New York.

SBC Leaders: New York has very much been one of the main talking points in the industry thus far in 2022, what opportunity do you believe the region presents both for yourselves and the wider industry in general?

Sarah Robertson: We were thrilled to be selected as a mobile sports betting licensee for New York State along with our partner Rush Street interactive, and it was fantastic to be up and running on day one of the market going live on January 8. 

Several licensees were given the green light to launch before the rest of the pack, putting them in a great position to acquire new customers early on. 

Our launch with Rush Street Interactive went off without a hitch, with steady growth early on that we hope to build on as New Yorkers increasingly discover the strength of the product. 

The early activity demonstrates the scope of the opportunity going forward in New York, which is the most populous to legalise mobile wagering in the United States so far. 

Lindsay Slader: New York has been an exciting market for our company. We take every geolocation challenge seriously, and when you have millions of people so close to borders, it means our teams have worked overtime to ensure success. 

The rest of the country, if not the world, looks to New York, so legal, compliant and ultimately successful online betting there will have positive, wide-reaching impact for the advancement of other markets. 

SBCL: In the period that immediately followed market launch we have witnessed stats that highlighted the region as the largest within the country. How can New York best keep up this momentum? 

LS: It’s been amazing to see, based on our data, that 87 per cent of New York bettors are brand new to regulated sports betting. This means that operators have done a great job of drawing players from the illegal market as well as attracting first time bettors. As more online sportsbooks come online, we anticipate the market will continue to grow.

SR: It is still early days so a little premature to jump to any conclusions. It’s worth bearing in mind that some operators went live in New York with extremely generous bonuses and sign-up offers, while there are still a couple of other operators yet to launch. 

With some major sporting events right around the corner (at the time of writing), we should get a better picture of the market based on the ability of sportsbooks to attract and retain players before and after those events. 

In general, Kambi firmly believes the sportsbooks that succeed in the long-term will be those that have a high-performance sportsbook, one that is able to retain customers and reduces the need for expensive acquisition and reactivation efforts.

Author: Ava Harvey