Sports betting has been legal in the state of New York since 2019, though only at a select number of upstate casino locations. That will change on Saturday, when four online sportsbook launch, instantly creating the largest legal online sports betting market in the United States.

New York online sports betting
Mobile sports betting will go live in New York on Saturday morning, with four sites launching at 9 am. (Image: Cole Burston/Getty)

The first sites in New York will begin taking bets at 9 am local time on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, just in time for the final week of the NFL regular season.

No betting on local college teams

The market will open with four online sportsbooks. Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive are ready to roll, and will launch their sites Saturday morning. Five other companies have earned licenses but haven’t received licenses yet. These include BallyBet, BetMGM, PointsBet, Resorts World, and WynnBet.

New York sports betting laws are similar to those in other states, and are consistent across live and mobile wagering. Bettors will not be able to bet on in-state college teams, nor on any collegiate sporting events taking place in the state. Most notably, that includes betting on the Syracuse Orange, though gamblers will also have to live without betting on Army, Buffalo, St. John’s, and several SUNY schools, among others. Both Madison Square Garden and Syracuse’s Carrier Dome frequently host college basketball tournament games as well.

Online sports betting follows live wagers in New York

Gaming firms praised New York ahead of the upcoming launch.

“We are excited to finally be able to offer millions of passionate New York sports fans the top-rated DraftKings mobile and online sportsbook,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told reporters. “We want to extend a special thanks to Governor Hochul, Senator Addabbo, Assemblyman Pretlow, the New York Gaming Commission along with the tireless efforts of our dedicated DraftKings team for making this a reality.”

One looming question is how the state’s high tax rates could impact the online sports betting market. New York is charging a 51 percent tax rate on sportsbook profits. However, tax rates haven’t made a significant impact on the offerings in most other states, and the size of the New York market may convince operators to keep their products competitive.

New York first passed in-person sports betting during the administration of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. However, Cuomo opposed mobile betting in the state. That changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as New York looked to find new sources of revenue. The state legislature approved online sports betting in April 2021, with Cuomo signing the bill later that month.