BUFFALO, N.Y/ (WKBW) — Mobile sports betting goes live Saturday morning.
The state approved the mobile betting program in last spring's budget.
Four operators have the go-ahead to launch Saturday: Caesars Sportsbook, Draft-Kings, Rush Street Interactive, and FanDuel have met the state's regulatory requirements.
FanDuel announced it is now the official mobile sports betting partner of the Buffalo Bills.
Just hours before the big launch, CEO of FanDuel, who just happens to be a Western New York native, spoke with 7 News.
"I think it's a historic moment for our state and it's a historic moment for FanDuel and the history for our company," FanDuel CEO Amy Howe said.
Early bird gets the worm, through the FanDuel app, for those who plan to place their first legal bets, Saturday morning.
"For new users who sign up early, they'll get 100 of site credit that they can use once we go live tomorrow," Howe said.
With this official launch, New York State will round out the northeast region in online sports betting. It joins states New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
"Because it's a regulated market, we're able to do this in a way that it is safe and legal for consumers. Instead of having to go to the block or the gray market, consumers can feel comfortable that they're betting on a- it's a great product. It's a great user experience," the Eden, New York native explained.
Howe now owns bragging rights as the official sports book of the Buffalo Bills, launching the headquartered company in her own state.
"Having grown up in Buffalo, I know the Bills Mafia and how loyal and passionate that sports fan is," Howe added. "It's probably one of the proudest moments I have in my career. I still think of myself as the little girl from Eden, NY. To be at a position as an avid Bills fan, and I went to all the Bills games growing up in the Jim Kelly era."
While she has stayed true to her roots, Howe is also trying to create change in big tech; a male dominated industry.
"I don't necessarily think about the fact that I'm in male-dominated industries. I do use my influence and power to help further and advance the cause of not just women but of diversity in general," she said.
The Western New York native is among the 29.3 percent of female CEO's in the U.S. workforce, according to Catalyst.
"At this point in my career, I'm incredibly grateful to be running the number one sports book in America, but also be able to create opportunities for women and diverse candidates of all nature, that otherwise they couldn't make for themselves. I've been very lucky. I've had people that have invested in me throughout my career. So, to now be able to do that and give back to the younger generation, it's really exciting," she said.
To not only bring what she calls "the absolute best sports betting product" to New York State, but specifically to her hometown and region she grew up in.
"To now be in a position to bring, what I think, the absolute best sports betting product, not just to the state of New York but to my hometown, Buffalo and Western New York, it's really the highlight of my career. It's a special day," she said.
Sports betting in New York State goes live tomorrow at 9 a.m.
It is important to note that when the fun stops, stop.
For anyone who is facing a problem with gambling, resources are available. The National Problem Gambling Helpline can be reached here: 1-800-522-4700.
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- New York State approves nine mobile sports betting operators including FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM
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