Weekly News – 07/26/2021


Best US Sportsbooks · Weekly Update

July 26th, 2021 Weekly Report

This week in legal sports betting news, states are looking to make some moves before the Fall sports seasons start. New York sports betting was in the news once again. Plus, Massachusetts sports betting saw some movement worth noting. And, Arizona sports betting also came up. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know from the legal sports betting world from the past week.

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Last Thursday, at the very last minute, New York sports betting was able to meet an important deadline. A 29 page Question and Answer document was released by the New York State Gaming Commission in regards to New York mobile sports betting. The document was between potential applicants and the New York State Gaming Commission surrounding the mobile betting RFA in NY.

This Q & A marks the first of two opportunities that will be available for potential applicants when it comes to the New York online sports betting market. These are opportunities for the RFA to be clarified. The RFA was launched eight days later than the statutory deadline that had been set for July 9th.

This Q & A was not exactly filled with new information. There were already two other Q & As that had been published by the New York State Gaming Commission prior to the RFA launch. So, some of the issues from before have been addressed in this recent release.

Now, a new deadline in the process is set for Tuesday. This is when a new set of questions will be due. Those answers will then be posted on August 2nd. All the applications will be due a week later, by 4pm Eastern on August 9th.

The New York State Gaming Commission is telling operators and platform providers that they are not able to craft bids that will stay within a certain tax rate range that they know other bids are suggesting. But, since operators and platform providers are able to engage in multiple bids, this is a bit complicated. The state of New York is hoping for at least a 50% revenue share. This is anticipated to hit 60% or more for the winning bids.

Questions as to how private details will be able to be handled in the bids were plentiful. This is because for the bidding process, competitors are able to team up and bid together. But, that does not indicate that they will be sharing all of their trade secrets.

However, if two competitors team up, trade secrets and financial details will be included in the bids, including information the two competitors may not want to share with each other. But, the commission does not feel that protecting that information is a paramount concern for them, putting the onus on the companies to protect themselves.

Even after missing the deadline by over a week, the RFA that was launched did not have all the details outlined. None of the bidders would be able to sub-license an operator license that has been won.

Platform providers and operators are expected to maintain their relationship that has been outlined in their application for the entire term of their license. However, operators may be allowed to swap their platform providers if New York state will be able to benefit financially.

As of right now, there is no publicly available list as well as scoring criteria other than the one that has been presented by the RFA. The RFA has a certain value for certain ranges, for instance 15 points for a revenue share that would be between 40% and 50%. A bid that would offer 40% will not get the same 15 points that a bid of 49% would get. And, capital investments in the state of New York, for instance building a casino, would not get a bonus.

Also, it does not appear that applicants will know what the renewal process will look like prior to placing their bids. The renewal process does not appear to have been established.


On Wednesday night, the Arizona Department of Gaming released its final set of proposed rules. And, The Arizona Department of Gaming hosted a public meeting virtually for comments on these rules as well as ones for daily fantasy sports on Friday. There is a September 9th launch date for both retail and mobile sports betting in Arizona at this time that has been proposed.

Back in April, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law Arizona sports betting legislation. The Arizona Department of Gaming has since pushed to launch sports betting in the state as soon as possible. This past June, an initial set of draft rules was released. After a comment period, these rules were updated for Arizona sports betting and daily fantasy sports and they were released. These rules for license fee and tax rate are:

  • An 8% tax rate on retail bets
  • A 10% tax rate on mobile bets
  • An $850,000 initial license fee

Another set of rules was released a few days ago around licensed allocation. There are twenty licenses tidal up for grabs. Ten of these licenses are set aside for Arizona’s professional sports teams as well as venues. And, ten are set aside for Arizona’s gaming tribes.

The second round of rules dictated that licensees would be able to have one sports betting system, however they can have up to two platforms. Multiple partnerships have been announced for Arizona sportsbooks. These are:

  • Barstool Sportsbooks partnering up with Phoenix Raceway
  • PointsBet partnering up with the Yavapai-Apache Nation
  • Bally’s partnering with the Phoenix Mercury
  • DraftKings partnering up with the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open
  • Caesars partnering with the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • FanDuel partnering with the Phoenix Suns
  • WynnBet partnering up with the San Carlos Apache Tribe
  • Kindred Group partnering with the Quechan Tribe


On Thursday, Massachusetts sports betting moved forward a step. The state House approved sports betting in the state, moving the next step to the state Senate. The state House approved an amended sports betting bill, H 3977, by a vote of 156-3.

Proponents of sports betting in the state in the House are hoping for quick action, but that may not happen. The Senate already has its own plan when it comes to Massachusetts sports betting, and much of that does not jive with the proposal from the state House. However, if both chambers are able to pass their as written respective bills, it is likely they will come together in a conference committee.

The hope is to launch Massachusetts sports betting during this coming NFL betting season. However, that is dependent on how soon a compromise can be found between the two chambers. Emergency rules and temporary licenses could be set and launched through H 3977 by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. This would speed up the launch process in the state.

The state Senate’s sports betting bill, S 269, from State Senator Eric Lesser, has not seen any action since it was voted out of a joint committee, which happened a few days ago. The state House in the meantime introduced a new proposal. It passed out of the House committee and through the full chamber in just four days.

When it comes to Massachusetts sports betting, it is not new for the state House to have to wait on the state Senate. Last year, the state House also included sports betting in its version of an economic development bill. This also passed with a vote of 156-3.

H 3977 contained ambiguous language when it comes to deciding whether there would be standalone mobile licenses or not. These would be category 3. However, this was changed through a successful amendment. The amount of standalone mobile sportsbooks was not defined through the amendment.

But, the bill does outline how many apps would be able to launch through partnerships with tracks and casinos. Three apps for each casino and one app for each track. So, that would mean there would be eleven online sportsbooks as the state’s market looks now.

These sportsbook licenses would cost $5 million each. If all of the licenses were given out, Massachusetts would receive upfront $80 million before a bet is even accepted. Each casino, track, as well as online operator would be required to pay the fee.

The bill outlines the tax rate for sports betting revenue at 12.5% for retail sports betting. It would be 15% for online sports betting.

At this time, professional sports teams and leagues are not set to get their own sports betting licenses. The gaming commission wants to study the benefit of awarding these licenses to the state.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.