On Monday, commissioners said the evaluation process did take into account whether the bidders would foster “racial, ethnic and gender diversity” in their work forces, though more weight was given to factors like expertise and experience.
The two winning consortiums are expected to offer up to nine online betting sites. By contrast, New Jersey has nearly a dozen licensed operators, including casinos and racetracks, partnered with nearly two dozen online sites to take bets.
State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., a Democrat from Queens who serves as chairman of the racing, gaming and wagering committee, said that he hoped New York gamblers would “switch and stay” once the betting sites are up and running.
“We’ve got to be competitive,” he said. “We’re asking New Yorkers to come to us, and stay with us.”
The presence of online gaming in nearby New Jersey has led some New York residents to travel there to bet, with some even crossing to the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge — which connects the two states — to gamble.
Mobile sports betting has been an enormous boon in New Jersey; in September, the state announced it had surpassed $1 billion in sports betting that month alone, the vast majority of which came from people’s cellphones or other device. That translated into some $46 million in tax revenue, according to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.
The winning consortiums in New York will pay a 51 percent tax on profit from bets, as well as a $200 million onetime fee to the state. The term of the licenses will be 10 years.
Even before mobile sports betting blossomed into a multibillion industry, New York State was slower than many other states to embrace legalized gambling. That changed, somewhat, in 2013 when voters approved an expansion of gaming, allowing for seven new casinos to be built around the state. The caveat was that the first four licenses were only to be granted to upstate communities, with an eye toward increasing commerce in economically moribund areas.