The state of New Jersey owes New York a thank you. New York failed to bring legal mobile sports betting to the state this session. Now New Jersey and Pennsylvania stand to benefit from New York residents who don’t want to travel upstate to make a bet when they can just drive across the state border. Nearly 43 percent of the entire population of New York state is located in New York City. The Empire State is losing significant amounts of revenue by failing to allow statewide mobile sports betting.
Addabbo’s Attempt to Bring Mobile to New York
Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-District 15) has always been the biggest advocate for mobile sports betting in New York. His bill, S 17D, was set to bring mobile sports betting to the state as well as adding betting kiosks inside major sports stadiums and arenas. Addabbo knew the difficulty of getting his bill to pass with a stubborn Assembly and a governor who still believes the state needs a constitutional amendment to allow for mobile sports betting. However, Addabbo fought till the last day, which was June 19th for the New York legislative session.
Addabbo’s bill passed with ease in the Senate on Monday but stalled in the Assembly in the final two days of the session. After the realization that his bill would not become law this session, Addabbo tweeted out an interesting analogy.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania The Biggest Beneficiaries of New York’s Stubborness
New Jersey is in the range of competing with Nevada for sports betting handle on a month-to-month basis. In the first year of legal sports betting in New Jersey, the state drew in $3 billion in sports betting handle. An estimated 10-15 percent of that comes from New York residents. Assuming those numbers stay consistent for another year, New York essentially handed New Jersey up to $450 million of sports betting handle for the next 365 days by neglecting to pass mobile sports betting in their own state. The nearest casino from the hear of New York City as about 100 miles away, a lot further than the New Jersey border, which is just across the Hudson River.
Pennsylvania will see a bit of a boost from New York residents as well, but nowhere near what New Jersey is seeing. Some residents in southern New York will find it easier to drive the shorted distance to the Pennsylvania border to place a mobile bet then it will be to drive to a New York casino that has sports betting and wait to place a bet there.
Future of Sports Betting in New York
Not only is New York losing revenue to neighboring states by failing to legalize mobile sports betting, but the racetracks and off-track betting facilities took a hit as well. Both industries are struggling right now and Addabbo’s bill would have allowed for them to offer mobile sports betting as well. This would have kept these industries from continuing to decline. Now the fate of racetracks and off-track betting facilities, as well as the jobs they provide, are facing uncertain futures.
As part of the New York casino law that they passed in 2013, New York City can see up to three casinos coming to the area. However, that won’t be for another few years as that can’t happen until after the end of the 2022 calendar year. Even then, it will be some time after that before the casinos get licensed and begin sports betting operations. Even then, without mobile that still won’t soak up all the revenue heading over to New Jersey. As of now, it appears New York is in a bad situation between the governor’s stance on the need for a constitutional amendment as well as the Assembly’s stubbornness towards gambling expansion. New York residents seem to be years away from legally betting on their phones.