Madison Square Garden Sees Value in New York Sports Betting

Madison Square Garden Sees Value in New York Sports Betting

By Lou Monaco

After Wednesday’s announcement by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSGE) on its fiscal second quarter earnings, one thing is certain: The world’s most famous arena and entertainment group is all in and engaged with New York sports betting.

Last November was a busy month in New York gaming. In addition to the official announcement of nine mobile sports betting providers being granted licenses, MSG made inroads in the state’s growing gambling landscape.

A day after that historic announcement by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) on Nov. 8, MSG announced a partnership with BetMGM New York.

Nine days later, MSG announced a multi-year marketing partnership with Caesars Sportsbook New York. The deal named Caesars an official sports betting partner of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden Arena and MSG Networks.

That was the third partnership with a sports betting entity for MSG, as DraftKings New York was named an official and exclusive sports betting and daily fantasy sports partner of the Garden, Knicks and Rangers in January 2020.

Also in November, MSG Networks announced an expansive sports betting content push and an increased lineup of original sports betting programming, adding three new shows to its channels, which signified its commitment to providing content to its audience.

MSG CEO Bullish About Betting Opportunities

“With mobile sports gaming now live in New York, partners are seeing firsthand the value we provide in helping to drive their business, and we anticipate further opportunities to increase our exposure in this exciting area,” Andy Lustgarten, MSG president and chief executive officer, said on the earnings call Wednesday.

Lustgarten also said a possibility of a sports betting lounge or location within the facility is possible in the near future.

“We are really pleased at how we've launched the sports betting category,” Lustgarten said. “This is great for us in terms of both consumer engagement as well as the sponsorship business. Our current partners, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook, had very strong launches. One of them even credited part of their market share grab to us and how we're helping them do it.

“So we feel really good about what we're able to do with our partners. New York State has been one of the more restrictive states in terms of both tax rate and certain rules around gaming. And so in the news, you might have read about conversations about kiosks, lounges, other possibilities, any of those would be incremental revenue for us and would be a win-win for our partners. We think it's an evolving category and evolving business that's very good for both us and our partners.”

New York, you probably know by now, has a 51% tax rate. That is tied with the state of New Hampshire for highest in the nation. The good news, so far, is that that rate is putting a lot of tax dollars back in the state’s pockets for use in educational and other purposes.

New York AG Cautions Bettors

This will be the first Super Bowl with mobile New York Sports betting in place, so the state Attorney General, Letitia James, issued a consumer alert Friday to warn bettors.

James asked Empire State bettors to be aware of deceptive practices by companies looking to take advantage of the interest in Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI. The press release stated that New Yorkers have been “bombarded” with misleading ads. It stated that many claim risk-free bets and $1,000 welcome offers that “sound like free money, but often come with strings attached without consumer awareness.”

“I urge all New Yorkers watching the Super Bowl and betting online for the first time to be careful — don’t let scammers game your gamble,” said James, who announced in December she was dropping out of the race for Governor. “Before placing a bet, do your research into the platform, read the fine print of the offer, and follow our other tips to avoid any red flags and keep the odds in your favor. Online sports betting companies that fumble their advertising to mislead New Yorkers can expect to hear from my office.”

Those tips are:

  • Learn what others users are saying about the platform
  • Read the fine print on bonuses and other promotion
  • Beware of unexpected restrictions on accessing your account

Problem Gambling Hotline:

The AG’s office urged New Yorkers who are concerned that they are having trouble coping with gambling to seek assistance from the New York Council on Problem Gambling. That group has a 24-hour problem gambling helpline that people can access by calling 1-877-846-7369 or texting HOPENY (467369).

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WRITTEN BY
EmpireStakes.com
Lou Monaco
Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.
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Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.
... Read More