Where New York Stands on Online Betting
New York State currently allows for sports wagering. However, sports gambling only takes place on-site at the casinos in the Upstate part of New York. FanDuel and DraftKings both have set up brick and mortar sportsbooks in the Empire State and technically allow for online betting; however, it is only available when you are at the casino. Therefore, it is not truly the online and mobile betting that much of America has come to know and love.
The online and mobile betting that many are hammering for is the kind that lets you bet on the games from the comfort of your home, from the bar, or from a friend’s house. This allows you to place wagers whenever one would like, and it requires zero travel. Obviously, this would have been great during the pandemic, but the pandemic may be the reason that it eventually gets pushed through.
The shutdowns caused by Coronavirus have cost many states, including New York, millions in revenue for the state. One thing that could instantly make the state of New York millions upon millions of tax revenue, right away, would be online and mobile sports betting. Right now, the state is losing all of this revenue to Rhode Island and New Jersey, where bettors can go and bet on their phones.
According to quotes provided by the New York Daily News, lead legislature J. Gary Pretlow feels that many of his colleagues will be much more open to the idea of online betting since the cash is now needed by the state. New York has to find an influx somewhere, and mobile betting could be the easy target for that influx.
This betting revenue could be used for education. This has been a part of the big push for mobile better by both House member Pretlow and State Senate member Joseph Addabbo, two of the leaders for the battle of online sports betting in New York.
Why New York Has Not Yet Legalized Online Gambling
The first issue that New York deals with is the idea that online sports gambling will get out of control and hurt many residents. The issue that many have with this concern is the fact that if someone has a gambling issue, they could drive a short way to Rhode Island, to New Jersey, or to Upstate New York to bet all they want.
While mobile and online betting will be accessible, the people who will be affected by it are the casual bettors. The gamblers who spend loads of money can already do so at these locations, or more likely, they already bet using offshore sportsbooks, which are unregulated, from the comfort of their home. This means that legalizing, regulating, and licensing mobile betting may actually create a safer environment for these individuals New York is worried about.
It is also worth noting that Governor Cuomo has stated multiple times that he does not believe the revenue would be significant for online wagering. However, the Governor only needs to take a look at Tennessee. The state, with only 6 million in population, made over $500k in tax revenue in its first week of mobile betting. This is an incredible amount of cash that New York is missing out on.