New York state will allow online sports betting to begin Saturday

New York state will launch what's expected to be one of the largest online sports betting markets in the nation at 9 a.m., Saturday.

The New York State Gaming Commission announced Thursday that four sportsbooks - Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street Interactive - have received approval to begin taking wagers Saturday.

Vixio GamblingCompliance, an industry trade publication and regulatory intelligence service, projects the New York betting market could gross $667 million in revenue this year. By 2025, the firm estimates annual gross revenue to hit $1.1 billion, which would make it the largest betting market in the U.S. to date.

"The long-awaited launch of online and mobile sports betting in New York - the largest online sports betting market by population in the United States - is here, and just in time," Richard Schwartz, chief executive officer for Rush Street Interactive, said in a statement.

In November, nine sportsbook operators were recommended for licensing in New York: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Bally Bet, Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, Resorts World, Rush Street Interactive, WynnBET and Kambi. Only Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street Interactive had satisfied the statutory and regulatory requirements needed to begin taking bets Saturday, according to the gaming commission.

Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings and Rush Street Interactive - which operates BetRivers and SugarHouse sportsbooks -- said they were planning to launch Saturday.

"From Buffalo to the Bronx, New York is a special place and we're grateful for the chance to show the Empire State what it's like to be a part of the Caesars Empire," Chris Holdren, co-president of Caesars Digital, said in a statement.

"We are excited to finally be able to offer millions of passionate New York sports fans the top rated DraftKings mobile and online Sportsbooksaid Jason Robins, DraftKings' CEO, co-founder and chairman of the board, said in a company release.

The sportsbooks will be subject to the highest state tax rate on gross revenue in the U.S. at 51%. In comparison, the tax rate for online sports betting in New Jersey is approximately 13%. New York's much higher tax rate caused concern that bettors might face higher prices, but industry sources familiar with some of the sportsbooks aren't expecting markedly different products from what's available in surrounding states.

"New York bettors were going to New Jersey, to Pennsylvania or New England," New York State Sen. Joseph Addabbo told ESPN this week. "So, we're asking them to switch from what they were doing, try the New York product and then stay with us. New Yorkers are so savvy when it comes to sports that if we don't have a competitive [sports betting] product that rivals and competes with New Jersey, Pennsylvania or even the illegal market, in a millisecond, they'll go back to what they were doing."

Addabbo, in a statement released Thursday, called the imminent launch of mobile sports betting "great news for New York in terms of revenue, new funding for education, addictions programs and youth sports, as well as new jobs."

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have launched legal sports betting markets since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018 struck down a federal statute that had restricted regulated sports gambling to primarily Nevada.