Six months to the day online sports betting started in New York, the ninth and last operator to launch finally took its first bet.
On Friday, Bally’s Interactive announced that its Bally Bet online sportsbook was live in the Empire State.
As of Friday night, Bally Bet was only available via Android or iOS mobile applications.
With the launch in New York, Bally Bet now operates in six states. It also has licenses in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, and Virginia.
The company does have plans to expand into other states, as it has market access agreements in place in 18 states. That includes Ohio. In April, Bally’s Interactive became the official sports betting partner of the Cleveland Browns, with plans in the works for a lounge at the team’s FirstEnergy Stadium.
Bally’s has not yet submitted its application in Ohio, where sports betting is slated to go live on New Year’s Day.
Bally’s is also one of seven operators that are combining forces to fund a $100 million campaign to legalize online sports betting in California. That measure goes before voters in November.
Bally’s View on Sports Betting
The July launch is later than many expected for the company to go live in New York. Back in January, Bally’s Corporation Chairman Soo Kim told CNBC’s Contessa Brewer that he was fine with the app not rolling out early, even if it meant missing the Super Bowl.
Kim has also been outspoken about how he sees sports betting evolving in the US. Last December while speaking at SBC North America, he described the traditional sports betting market as a niche of a niche and said the future state will need to attract casual fans.
It’s going to be more luck-based, less skill-based,” Kim said about the future of sports betting. “It’s going to be a much wider funnel because everyone will take a shot.”
New York is the second state to feature its “2.0 sportsbook platform,” according to Bally’s statement. The other is Arizona. The 2.0 platform features an updated design as well as “intuitive screens” that give bettors fast access to live scoring updates, visualized data, and popular betting options.
Will Streaming Boost Bally Bet?
One advantage Bally Bet has over its competition is the parent company’s naming rights deal for regional sports networks (RSN) it has with Sinclair Broadcast Group.
There are 19 Bally Sports RSNs across the country, and those provide near-exclusive coverage to more than 40 major professional sports teams. Sinclair also is a 20% owner of YES, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. That network carries games for the New York Yankees (the Yankees ownership group holds a 26% stake in YES), Brooklyn Nets, the WNBA’s New York Liberty, and MLS squad New York City FC.
In addition, the RSNs also carry major college football and basketball games on a regular basis.
Late last month, Sinclair began rolling out Bally Sports+, an online streaming service, in five test markets, and a national launch for the streaming service is expected later this year.
There is a plan to integrate sports betting into the streaming service offerings, where it’s legal. If successful, it could lead to more people participating in in-game wagering. It may also provide an opportunity for viewers to watch a game and bet on it from the same screen.
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