Several bids under review

New York lawmaker calls state to license all online sports betting applicants

New York Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-89).
United States
Reading time 2:33 min
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow says New York shouldn't limit the market, instead proposes licensing all companies for higher competition and more options to state bettors. The New York State Gaming Commission has recently published a tax matrix: were all applicants to be licensed, tax rates would be significantly lower than the 64% maximum.

Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-89) is calling for New York to license all online sports betting applicants. The long-time proponent of betting in the state shared his comments on his Twitter account on Thursday.

“New York received bids from a large number of well-qualified companies, and I think it would be a mistake for us to limit the market to a few participants when we have the opportunity to have so many companies competing to provide New Yorkers with the best experience,” he wrote.

According to the assemblyman, licensing all of the companies that applied would achieve the Legislature’s original vision for the sports betting market. The move is explicitly envisioned and allowed under the law that was enacted, he claims.

Pretlow says he worked to include a sports betting framework in the original casino law and has always thought that New York should have a well-regulated market which gives consumers “a great experience that draws them away from the illegal market,” while also providing the state with revenue.

While former Gov. Andrew Cuomo supported a limited market as means to increase potential revenue for the state, extended licensing would lead to higher competition and better options for New York sports bettors, it is being claimed.

“We have the opportunity to have the largest and most exciting sports betting industry in the country,” said the assemblyman. “We should license all applicants and allow them to compete for the business of New Yorkers.”

The New York State Gaming Commission is currently moving forward with the mobile sports betting licensing process and plans to select finalists before Dec. 6. Prelow isn’t the only to have pushed for a New York online sports betting market with multiple skins and options: Senator Joseph A. Addabbo, Jr. also supported Pretlow’s vision.

The assemblyman’s call for massive licensing comes a few days after the Gaming Commission published a “final tax rate matrix” on sports betting that all bidders will have to meet to be considered in the competition.

The table establishes proposed rates based on the number of platform providers and sports betting operators selected for award. The NYSGC will select a minimum of two platform providers and four operators.

For a scheme of two platform providers and four operators, the proposed tax rate is 64%. The tax rate decreases as the number of providers and operators increases. If all companies were licensed as Pretlow proposes, there would be a total of 13 platform providers and 17 platform operators. This would result in a tax rate of 35%, much lower than the 50% threshold Governor Cuomo planned for the market.

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