Legal Sports Betting Makes a Flying Start in New York

A picture shows the Statue of Liberty in New York City. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)

New York’s legal online sports betting industry enjoyed a “historically unprecedented” start to proceedings at the weekend. GeoComply revealed that New York generated 5.8 million geolocation pings during the first 12 hours of launch.

Bettors must use a GeoComply plugin to prove they are physically located in a state in which online sports wagering is legal. It pings when it is used to place a bet, highlighting the volume of wagers taking place in each state.

The activity in New York was more than double the volume in the second-largest state, Pennsylvania, where there were 2.3 million pings during that period. “A launch this size is historically unprecedented,” said GeoComply managing director Lindsay Slader. “Congratulations to our customers and the New York State Gaming Commission for the fast and furious start.”

Just four operators went live in time for the opening weekend – BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook – all of whom are GeoComply customers. Five more online sportsbooks have been granted licenses, including BetMGM, but they have not yet launched.

“The Numbers Were Massive”

Slader revealed that there were 17.2 million pings across the Empire State during the opening weekend. In the five boroughs of New York along, there were 8 million pings, which is larger than another standalone state total in the country at that time.

Caesars launched with an enormous welcome bonus worth up to $3,300. Bettors have been given a $300 free bet after signing up, along with a 100% deposit match worth up to $3,000. It is easily the largest and most generous sports betting bonus in the country.

The company revealed it took almost 1 million bets during the first two days of launch. “The numbers were massive,” said chief executive Thomas Reeg. “We had almost a million individual bets taken. We knew New York sports bettors were a passionate group. They didn’t disappoint this weekend.”

That was despite the Caesars Sportsbook website and app going down for a few hours on Sunday after its high-profile TV commercial appeared during Week 18 NFL games. “When you have massive demand as we did, you see the pinch points in your system,” Reeg said. “Unfortunately we did not have a flawless performance this weekend, and as a sports bettor myself I know how frustrating that can be.”

Users also reported issues with rival sportsbooks, but it was ultimately an extremely strong start for the state, and it suggests that New York will swiftly overtake New Jersey to become the number one state for sports betting.

PayNearMe Arrives in New York

PayNearMe revealed in a press release that it has gained approval from the New York State Gaming Commission to operate in the state. The service allows you to head to a participating 7-Eleven, CVS, Walmart, Family Dollar, Casey’s General Store, and ACE Cash Express outlet and use cash to fund your online sports betting account.

Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel both accept PayNearMe. “These clients are some of the industry’s largest operators. They have been accepting cash deposits at retail locations with PayNearMe for years and can now accept players’ cash deposits for mobile sports betting in New York,” said Michael Kaplan, Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager at PayNearMe.

“Enabling our clients to go live on the same day online gambling was legalized in the state of New York ensures they will be able to seamlessly manage the billions of dollars projected to be wagered online in New York over the next year,” Kaplan said. “We are actively working to launch additional operators upon approval and are thrilled to be paving the way in iGaming.”