Bally Bet Sportsbook Relaunches in New York as Lawmakers Prepare for 2024 Online Casino Push

Bally’s Corp. has relaunched its Bally Bet Sportsbook in New York. The company shut down its sports betting operations in late June to switch to a new software platform powered by Kambi and White Hat Gaming. To attract new customers in New York, Bally Bet is offering $200 in bonus bets on a qualifying first bet of at least $50.

New York’s relaunch means Bally Bet is now live in seven states, which aligns with what Bally’s CEO Robeson Reeves said during the company’s Q2 earnings call. Those states are:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Virginia

Bally’s also has a license in Massachusetts, but it received approval just before beginning its transition to the new platform. That interrupted any plans for an immediate launch and Bally’s has not confirmed whether and when it now plans to enter the market.

Would Improved Bally Bet Be Profitable in NY?

During Bally’s Q3 earnings call, Reeves expressed confidence in the new Bally Bet platform and said the relaunch has been successful. However, turning a profit in the Empire State could be challenging.

With its 51% tax rate on sportsbooks’ revenue, New York collects the highest tax of any state. Prior to shutting down, Bally Bet ranked in last place in the state in terms of revenue and handle. In May, its last full month before shutting down, Bally Bet made only $2.2 million in handle out of $1.35 billion for the total market. Even other small sportsbooks like WynnBet and PointsBet made multiples of Bally Bet’s revenue.

The struggles in New York were among the primary reasons why Bally’s looked for improvements in its sportsbook and platform change. Some believed the operator would not return to the Empire State because of the high taxes and failure to capture market share. However, Bally’s seems to believe in its product and may be looking ahead to better things.

Could NY Relaunch Be More About iGaming?

As incoming CEO, Reeves said his plan was to shift the company’s focus to iGaming. In Q3, he said that Bally Casino was on track to achieve its market share goal in New Jersey and that early results from Pennsylvania were encouraging, too.

The next stop for Bally Casino will be Rhode Island, which legalized online casino gambling in June. The state chose a monopoly model and named Bally’s as the operator partner for its lottery. It remains to be seen how well that works out for Rhode Island, as the only other state with an iGaming monopoly, Delaware, has performed infamously poorly.

Bally’s has few other options for iGaming expansion at the moment. There are no licenses available in Michigan, Connecticut, or Delaware. That leaves West Virginia as the only legal iGaming market where Bally’s has market access but isn’t yet operating. There are already nine online casinos operating there for less than two million population, and they generated only $15.9 million in gross gaming revenue in October. As a latecomer, Bally’s would be lucky to make even $500,000 in monthly revenue there.

New York, on the other hand, is a “Holy Grail” state for the online gambling industry. Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. told Bonus on Nov. 8 that he and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow plan to introduce a revised iGaming bill by the end of 2023. Their previous effort died on March 17 this year but paved the way for future pushes.

If New York legalizes online casinos next year, their potential is enormous, even with a high tax rate. In that case, Bally Bet would provide an invaluable toehold for Bally Casino. Given the latter’s success in New Jersey, it could perform much better than the sportsbook has.

Bally’s Also Aiming for a NY Retail Casino

In addition to online operations, Bally’s is in the running for one of three casino licenses for a downstate casino. The company has proposed to build a casino in the Bronx, using part of the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. Bally’s took over the lease from The Trump Organization in September and now awaits a decision from the Gaming Facility Location Board (GFLB) and New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).

However, it might take a while before the licenses are awarded. Nearly a year after the selection process began, the NYSGC has yet to formally request would-be licensees to submit applications. Sen. Addabbo Jr. told Bonus he believes the GFLB will be able to “acknowledge submitted applications” by the end of the year.

Competition for the downstate casinos is fierce, with ten other applicants and only three licenses. Two of those—Resorts World and Empire City Casino—are believed to have a leg up on the others, as they already have gaming operations in Queens and Yonkers, respectively. Bally’s would then be squaring off with the likes of Caesars and Las Vegas Sands for the remaining license.

While it waits, Bally’s announced that it will provide a free shuttle for Bronx residents living close to Ferry Point. The shuttle operates Monday through Friday and makes ten stops. With the shuttle, Bally’s is likely hoping to please local community leaders, who could support the company’s casino application.

About the Author

Chav Vasilev

Chav Vasilev

After years of managing fast-casual restaurants, Chav turned his passion for sports and occasional slot wins into a career as an iGaming writer. Sharing his time between Europe and the US, he has been exposed to betting and gambling for years and has closely followed the growth in the US. Chav is a proponent of playing responsibly and playing only at legal online sites. When not writing, you will find him watching and betting on sports, especially soccer, or trying to land the next big bonus on a slot.
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