New York Hopes to Move Forward with Online Sports Betting

New York Hopes to Move Forward with Online Sports Betting
© USA Today

As neighboring states New Jersey and Pennsylvania bask in the glow of their impressive August sports betting numbers, New York is figuring out how it can even start to get to that point.

Currently there are eight upstate New York brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, with Resorts World Catskills in Monticello being the closest to Manhattan (about 90 miles), but no online sports wagering in the state.

RELATED: NY Lawmaker Optimistic About Mobile Sports Betting

That could change in New York over the next few months.

Reports have suggested that speaker of the New York State Assembly, Carl Heastie (D), could offer online and mobile sports betting in an upcoming revenue bill, but no time table has been set.

“When we return to session (via Zoom), the mobile sports betting part of the bill will be in some kind of a revenue package, but we have to wait to see when and if we will be getting any federal stimulus help from the federal government,” said New York State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D), representing the state’s 15th district and chairman of a committee on racing, gaming and wagering. “We are going to need substantial and consistent revenue going forward for this state and this provides an opportunity for us to do so.

"We can go back into session at a moment’s notice and we do have some time to try and get this moving forward and do it right, but we would hope by the Super Bowl or March Madness, we can have something in place.”

The New York Senate passed mobile sports betting as a standalone bill last year, but it needs to pass the state assembly. Addabbo said he believes there are enough votes in the House to pass it.

“The first indication that movement could be started if once you see a federal stimulus number for the state, that will start the clock for the legislature to start doing something,” Addabbo said.

Records Set in Neighboring States

Last week, New Jersey and Pennsylvania released their August sports wagering numbers for both online and retail. Those numbers combined for more than $1 billion total. New Jersey had a U.S. record for a month with $668 million and Pennsylvania set a state mark with $365 million.

“It is frustrating to us as a state, because we know a lot of New York residents go to both of those states to wager,” Addabbo said. “At least 25% of our mobile bet money, about $137 million, is lost to New Jersey alone from our residents. We should have been on this in 2019.”

The current proposed bill enables New York to be a single-skin state, which means that the four in-state operators are allowed to partner with only one mobile sports wagering platform.

Mobile Options for NY Sports Bettors

If mobile sports betting comes to the Empire State, there are likely four options that bettors and fans can go to: Bet365, BetRivers, DraftKings and FanDuel. Operators in the Garden State have up to three skins, where they can partner up with up to three wagering platforms.

“It’s what we can get with the single-skin option. We will start low to start and then work our way up, evolving and expanding as we go to maximize our revenue,” Addabbo said. “It’s a starting point for a state that has certainly shown no great rush, but we do have to start somewhere. We can start with single skins when passed and implemented and then over the next three years, expand to other places like stadiums, arenas, etc.”

With the current coronavirus situation that is evolving on a daily basis, this new, found revenue seems like a no-brainer to push through and approve.

“We had a fiscal situation starting last year, which amounted to about a $7 billion deficit to start. COVID-19 hits and now that number has skyrocketed to at least $15 billion or more,” Addabbo said. “This is a form of entertainment, which will have all the necessary safeguards in place, including how to deal with and offer assistance to addiction. There is a reluctance to expand gaming in this state, but we already have it here in many forms, we just do it poorly.

”People want to do it in our state, regulate it in our state and mange it in our state. It is so rational and such a no-brainer to do it, but we have to continue the process.”

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