In time for Super Bowl

WynnBET goes live as New York's seventh mobile sportsbook

Reading time 4:13 min

WynnBET has now become the seventh sportsbook to launch mobile sports betting in New York, just in time for the Super Bowl. The news was confirmed Friday by the company through both a written statement and a promotional video featuring former wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl winner Julian Edelman.

"New York is a monumental step in the growth of our company," Wynn Interactive President Ian Williams said of the launch, described as "a huge day" for WynnBET, which is now live in 8 US states. Players in the state can download WynnBET on the Apple App and Google Play Store, or visit the company's dedicated New York site to wager.

WynnBET New York patrons will gain access to the company's rewards program, Wynn Rewards, which provides "a variety of real-life experiences and benefits" that can be used at Wynn Resorts' properties. Existing Wynn Rewards members will be able to connect their accounts to WynnBET upon completing registration. 

In addition, New York patrons will be able to take advantage of a new player offer: Bet $10 Win $200. If a player completes registration, makes at least a $10 deposit, and places a $10 first-time straight bet or parlay wager, they will receive $200 in free bets.

"New Yorkers represent a significant portion of the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor databases, and we look forward to giving those customers more ways to earn and use Wynn Rewards,” Wynn Interactive CEO Craig Billings had said last year. “We also look forward to meeting and engaging with new customers in the state via WynnBET."

The operator had first secured market access in the Empire State in November last year, but failed to go live upon market launch, which took place on January 8. However, it has now received the required regulatory approval to launch operations, joining already-live sportsbooks Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, BetMGM and PointsBet.

Now that WynnBET has been confirmed, New York only waits for two more operators to launch: BallyBet and Empire Resorts, which both have received conditional approval last year, but are still finalizing details prior to going live.

The digital sports betting arm of Wynn Resorts now joins a new market that, in just 16 days, has already broken a series of records within the industry. The Empire State has become the fastest to break the $1 billion handle mark, surpassing the prior record for strongest launch, set by Arizona, which blew past $1 billion in November.

Sports bettors in New York placed over $1.1 billion in mobile sports wagers in less than a month in January. The state also got close to breaking a second record: most handle for a single month, which belongs to New Jersey, which posted $1.3 billion in bets in November 2021.

Breaking down data by sportsbook positions Caesars as the early market leader with $483.3 million in bets, followed by FanDuel at $360 million and DraftKings at $265.5 million. BetMGM placed fourth with $40.6 million in bets, and BetRivers fifth, with $22.2 million. PointsBet’s figures were not yet released since the product launched on January 25.

For the period Jan. 8 to Jan. 23, total gross gaming revenues in the state have been reported at $90.6 million, with about $45 million in taxes for the state due to New York’s unusually high 51% tax rate.

As WynnBET joins the betting action in New York, the new market becomes the eighth state in which its product is available, including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia. WynnBET also plans to launch in Iowa and Louisiana "in the near future."

WynnBET first gained market entry into New York as part of a Kambi-led consortium, which also included Caesars, PointsBet, BetRivers and Resorts World. While a presence in the Empire State, set to take the first place for sports betting, is undoubtedly a key step for the company, the Wynn subsidiary is positioned to face fierce competition.

Last month, media speculation claimed Wynn Resorts is looking to sell its Wynn Interactive division -operator of the WynnBet brand- at “deep discount” as the sports betting niche faces losses from stiff taxes and costly promotions to lure customers.

The Vegas-based giant has allegedly slashed the asking price of its sports product to $500 million from a $3 billion valuation less than a year ago. Analysts told the New York Post suitors for Wynn Interactive would be Fanatics and Penn National Gaming's Penn Interactive.

“The market is really not sustainable right now,” outgoing CEO Matt Maddox said on a Nov. 10 earnings call. “Competitors are spending too much to get customers. And the economics are just not something that we’re going to participate in.” A blank-check merger considered at the time, which valued the online unit at $3.2 billion, was eventually scrapped.

Aggressive spending tactics have taken over the US market as of late, with industry leaders FanDuel and DraftKings having gone as far as offering $1,000 credits to sign up new members. This has also been the case in the New York market, in which operators have launched massive promotions despite a 51% tax rate on revenues.

Analysts, which partly credit the success of the market to the heavy promotion, have voiced concerns on the sustainability of these tactics: promotions are expected to tone down in the mid to long term should operators hope to see profitability in New York. It is believed it could cost between $300 to $500 on average to acquire an online gaming customer.

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