Only one left operator left ... and we’re waiting.
We are three months into the launch of mobile New York sports betting and eight of the nine approved operators are live and fully operational. All except Bally Bet.
Four answered the opening bell on the morning of Jan. 8: FanDuelSportsbook New York, Caesars Sportsbook New York, DraftKings New York and BetRivers New York.
Then the others started coming on board: BetMGM New York (Jan. 17), PointsBet (Jan. 25), WynnBET New York (Feb. 4) and Resorts World New York (March 3).
Bally’s Chairman Initially Said April
In late January, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim spoke about his company’s plans for an online sportsbook in New York in a seven-minute interview with CNBC’s Contessa Brewer.
Soo Kim is a New Yorker and has been in his current role at Bally’s since 2016.
“New York is an interesting place,” Soo Kim said. “You can literally open an account with one person, open another account with another, get your free promotional money and bet different ways on the same game and you will win on one of them. I don’t know why everyone is not doing that.
“We will launch sometime in April, I think is the plan.”
Eight days into the month, it is still anybody’s guess as to when.
EmpireStakes.com again reached out on Friday to Bally’s to comment on whether the April start still stands but a spokesperson declined to comment in an e-mail.
'A Longer-Term Plan'
Kim grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, and graduated from Stuyvesant High School and Princeton University. He elaborated Bally’s thinking during that CNBC interview.
“We have a longer-term plan,” Soo Kim said on CNBC. “Part of this is why maybe our plan is not fully being grasped by the public market. The public market sense is very short-term-oriented. What is going to happen next in earnings, etc.
“We think that the current version of sports betting is not a great business. It’s a fine business, not a great business. We think there will be a wave of consolidation that will rationalize promotions, but more importantly, people will stop competing with just free money, but people will start competing with product.”
On Feb. 24, Bally’s CEO Lee Fenton echoed these thoughts in a Q4 2021 earning conference call to investors.
“We do not need to be first to market with an inferior product,” said Fenton, who said that the mobile sportsbook would launch in the first half of this year.
“Customers will always have choices and your first impression is more important than timing of launch. We will launch when the product is right and we’re willing to miss short-term gains to build long-term trust and value with our customers. We have concentrated our focus on building betting products that are US-centric and easy-to-use for the mass market.”
More About Bally’s Footprint
Based in Rhode Island, Bally’s currently has 14 casinos across 10 states, a racetrack in Colorado (Arapahoe Park in Aurora), as well as off-site betting licenses in 15 states. Bally Interactive operates the company’s online offerings, including its Bally Bet sports betting brand, a fantasy sports site and a free-to-play, business-to-business game provider.
In 2021, Bally’s also bought Gamesys Group, an online gaming company based in England, for $2.7 billion. In its most recent quarter, Bally’s revenue reached $315 billion with a net loss of $14.7 billion.