One of the most significant speakers at this week’s SBC Summit North America was Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation, who shared his insights into developments in the state of New York.
Taking place at the Meadowlands Exposition Centre in New Jersey between 30 November and 2 December, the SBC Summit North America featured a range of panel sessions and keynote speeches addressing a number of topics across the US sports betting and gaming industry.
One of the biggest developments in the US gaming space that has caught the attention of operators across the globe has been the launch of New York’s market, which has seen licences awarded to nine operators, with a high-tax rate of 51%.
As one of the operators active in the state, the Bally’s Chairman was keen to share his perspective on the issue, arguing that operators need to be ‘disciplined’ with regards to certain activities in order to find success.
“We’re very grateful to the governor and the state of New York for selecting Bally’s as one of the nine,” the Chairman explained.
“Obviously nine is not a lot of operators and the 51% tax rate is quite daunting, but I think if anything the opportunity that will come for all the operators will mean all the operators will have to be more disciplined and clever about how we acquire and retain customers.
“In a high-tax jurisdiction you can’t get away with certain behaviour, like over promotion and overa advertising, because the lifetime value of your customer is going to be lower.”
Identifying the high tax rate as one of the most significant challenges facing operators in New York, Kim further argued that the state will be one of the most expensive with regards to media whilst also posing geographical difficulties.
He added: “You layer on the fact that it’s also surrounded by states that all have legalised gaming including Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Most of the population of New York lives close to the border of another state where it isn’t a differentiating experience and it’s possible for those customers to go over.
“The whole point of this exercise is for the state and the operators in the state to keep those revenues in New York, and I think that is going to be the greatest challenge.”
Bally’s is one of the largest operators across the US, having established a network of 16 land-based casinos across 11 states – making it the third largest casino operator in the country – as well as securing online access in four jurisdictions, including New York where it exclusively operates online.
“That’s going to expand,” Kim remarked, concerning Bally’s online ambitions. “There’s going to be plenty of states that have online offerings where there are either no casinos to get or we simply do not have one.
“New York is one of those states where there are some casinos but the online skins are untethered. We believe in national gaming business, we want Bally’s to really be an international gaming company and we need to be everywhere we can be.”
Interviews from the SBC Summit North America and past events can be viewed on the Sports Betting Community YouTube Channel by clicking here