Mobile sports betting going live in New York on Saturday

By , Audacy Sports

Online sports betting has arrived in the Empire State.

On Thursday, New York's gaming commission announced that four digital sports books would be allowed to start accepting bets as soon as 9 a.m. ET on Saturday.

The four operators, which were chosen from the nine initial applicants submitted in November, are Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive.

Five other operators -- Wynn Interactive, Resorts World, BallyBet, BetMGM and PointsBet -- were still in the process of being vetted for statutory and regulatory requirements, the state said, according to the AP.

In legalizing and implementing sports betting, New York, which is home to some 20 million residents, joins about 20 other US states and jurisdictions, including neighboring New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. New York legalized retail betting back in 2013, and some upstate casinos began accepting in-person sports bets in 2019.

On Friday, FanDuel CMO Mike Raffensperger appeared on WFAN's Boomer & Gio to discuss the historic moment.

"We're really appreciative of operating in the state of New York," he said. "We're very excited to have been licensed awarded that only a few companies are being afforded the ability to operate legally within New York. ... FanDuel's headquarters are actually in New York -- we've been operating for over 10 years right here in the city, and so this is home base. There was no world where we weren't going to be in our backyard. We're really excited and privileged to have the No. 1 sports book in the country, and to bring it to our backyard is really exciting."

Some state officials have touted sports betting as a revenue boon for the state's coffers, with some estimates suggesting as much as $500 million in potential annual revenue, per the AP.

The state will tax wagers at 51 percent, according to Gio, but Raffensperger said the figure was not a deterrent to FanDuel's plans of launching in New York.

The floodgates on sports betting reopened in 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down a 1990s federal law against sports gambling, in a case brought by then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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