Changes Needed at New York Sportsbooks in 2023

Gambling in New York is not as fun as it could be, especially sports gambling. In a marketplace saturated with gambling options ranging from the state lottery to getting on a subway and hoping you are not attacked, there is a way to make things better for the bettor.

New York City
The Empire State Building stands out above the New York City skyline. New York State lawmakers want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that would establish a problem gambling advisory council to help determine what causes problem gambling and make treatment options more widely acceptable statewide. (Image: Bobby Mikul/

And as we know, betting options are going to become more abundant over the course of the year as the state Gaming Commission issues at least two licenses for downstate casinos, one at Empire City Casino in Yonkers (owned by MGM) and the other at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens (owned by Malaysia-based Genting).

A third will be issued to one of the groups that is competing for it, with Manhattan and the Bronx the latest points of interest. That is going to eat up some of the competition when it comes to competing for available gambling dollars, and the nine sportsbooks operating in New York could do a few things on their own to make their brands more enticing.

So we are giving them some ideas, while at the same time imploring the State Gaming commission to adopt some of the measures being proposed by Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow that we have reported on here.

RELATED: NY Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow Shares 2023 Vision for State Sports Betting

Let’s get to it:

The Tier One Companies

DraftKings Sportsbook: Please ease up on the make-your-own parlay rules. Earlier this NBA season, this writer was able to parlay a certain player getting a triple-double with another player getting a double-double. Now, those parlays are no longer allowed. The ready-made same game parlays are OK, but they take the choices out of the hands of the gamblers who do their homework on this stuff.

FanDuel Sportsbook: This piece of advice goes for all nine of the NY books: Offer something to existing customers. DK does it better with opt-ins that are available on a daily basis (today’s is a weeklong NBA pick ’em pool). FanDuel’s home page has only one offer: Refer a friend, and both of you will get $50 in bonus bets. Memo to FD: Everyone who wants to gamble in New York (any many of your other markets) is already gambling. There is a very limited pool of new customers available.

BetMGM: Please put a little public pressure on state legislators to issue the first two downstate casino licenses. This would allow for BetMGM to open a sports betting lounge at the old Yonkers Raceway. Under current rules, the commercial casino license must be issued first before construction could begin on a sports betting parlor at Empire City Casino. Getting things done in New York does not have to take forever. And video lottery terminals are no fun.

The Tier 2 Sportsbooks

Caesars Sportsbook: The ready-made parlay options and boosts are more extensive here than the ones at DraftKings and FanDuel, but the rewards options are too few and far between. Also, please hire a site designer that can make the sportsbook site easier to navigate. No scroll bar on the right side of the page? Really? It is not that difficult. We used to love the “Name a Bet” option because it worked, and we could get action on bets that we could not find elsewhere. But that component has become non-functional in terms of getting a “Name a Bet” placed on the betting menu. Our last several attempts have failed. Also, why not make customer service agents available by phone as they are in New Jersey? One of the books could do this unilaterally instead of waiting for the state to mandate it. These folks seem to have some sharp traders setting their lines. Used to be the wagering lines at BetRivers were out of touch with reality and thus good for the gambler. Over the past six months, that has changed. Good for the book, not great for the gambler, as we pointed out in this article about Yankees future betting. Keep up the good stuff on social media.

The Third Tier of Sportsbooks

WynnBet: Open the company wallet, please. Right now the best offer out there at WynnBet is make a bet for $100 with odds -120 or greater and get a $5 free bet. Perhaps y’all have not heard, but $5 does not get you what it once did. Customer loyalty is built off of treating your customers better than the competition does. That is lacking here.

ResortsWorld Bet: We are big fans of your poker room in Monticello, and the sportsbook that is attached which is the place closest to New York City (excluding the Meadowlands) where someone can participate in the communal gambling experience. This company is owned by Genting, which also owns Aqueduct Racetrack and will be getting a downstate casino license. Offering a free hoodie in February was cool. Please offer something better in March.

BallyBet: Please offer futures markets. Y’all have been online since July, and well we understand the whole Sinclair/ Diamond disaster and how it is impacting regional sports networks, that dysfunction should not bleed over into the sports gambling business. If it is that bleak, please try to find a way to sell your New York license to BetFanatics.


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