Mobile sports betting app DraftKings Mobile Sportsbook will finally go live in New York on Saturday, much to the delight of New York City citizens who were tired of taking the PATH train to Hoboken, New Jersey to place bets on their phone.
The Boston-based company was founded in 2012, and it allows users to make bets, and if they’re lucky win money, on all five major American sports (MLB, the NHL, the NFL, the NBA and the PGA), as well as everything from Nascar to MMA games and fantasy sports-based games.
For the first several years of its existence, DraftKings focused on fantasy sports games, due to legal restrictions against sports gambling in all states except Nevada.
But in in May 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States, and later that year, DraftKings launched its first legal mobile and online sportsbook company in New Jersey.
Many states slowly began allowing betting afterwards, but the Garden State was the first to enthusiastically embrace betting via mobile phone.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement employed the company GeoComply to ensure all bettors comply with the state’s geographical requirements and to prevent any virtual private networks-related funny business.
This all caused a bit of consternation amongst sports fans in the Empire City, as no New Yorker ever likes to feel as though New Jersey has one up on them.
But on April 6 of last year, New York state legislators passed a state budget bill that would allow for online and mobile sports betting, and regulators such as the New York State Gaming Commission spent the rest of the year finalizing the official rules for mobile betting.
The service will be restricted to ages 21 and over, and will prohibit betting on any New York college game. The bets will will include pre-match and in-game markets, including same game parlays.
“We are excited to finally be able to offer millions of passionate New York sports fans the top rated DraftKings mobile and online Sportsbook,” said Jason Robins, CEO, co-founder and chairman of the board, DraftKings in a statement.
“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.”
New York is home to 10 professional sports team and, as anyone who has been near a subway during the Superbowl or a play-off game can attest, millions of enthusiastic fans, and this launch comes just in time for Sunday’s match-up of the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills.
This launch will have broader implications outside of New York City, according to Ken Hershman, co-founder and CEO Champion Gaming.
"One immediate effect will be that a number of other States, both contiguous and not, will need to quickly follow suit in opening their States to legalized sports wagering if they haven't already," he said. "But also, as we have seen with the democratization of the finance industry, New York will likely lead in the evolution of new and more sophisticated tools, news and information for the sports wagering community writ large."