While most states still need to discuss legislation regarding sports betting legalization before engaging in it, New York is one doesn’t. Even though the state doesn’t have any direct limitations, there currently isn’t anywhere in the state where you can place a sports wager.
This is particularly shocking when you consider the close neighboring state of New Jersey is essentially the gambling headquarters of the eastern U.S. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that as much as a quarter of all sports bets placed in New Jersey were actually made by New York residents. This means that the state is losing out on free tax revenue as it is clear there is already a large demand for legal sports betting.
While this figure might seem minor, sports wagers have totaled almost $2 billion within the first year of legal sports betting in New Jersey. That makes a quarter of wagers look far more appealing, but there is another key problem for sports betting in New York.
Another difference between New York and New Jersey is that New Jersey allows sports wagers to be placed online and through mobile app. Considering that most sports bets in the state are placed on mobile app or online, this makes a huge difference for New York’s revenue potential.
Residents of New Jersey have the freedom to bet just about anywhere in the state, but New Yorkers will be limited to just four casinos. These include the Del Lago Resort & Casino, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, Resort World Catskills, and Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Considering the restrictions implied by restricting bets to in-person wagers at just four locations, this doesn’t create a situation that encourages residents to make bets.
There is no doubt that mobile sports betting would greatly benefit the state of New York. Even though the state’s legislative session only lasts until June 19th, there is still a chance for Senate Bill 17 to be approved. SB 17 would legalize mobile sports betting only within casinos, which does still leave limitations in place. A New York resident would not be able to place a bet online from the comfort of their home.
This is a big problem considering that a large portion of New York’s residents actually live in New York City. All four casinos that would offer legal sports betting are several hours away from the city, but New Jersey Sportsbooks are just a short trip away. SB 17 would at least open up more locations that are convenient for residents within New York City.
With three weeks left to deliberate, mobile sports betting still stands a chance in New York. It is certainly essential if the state wants to keep residents from placing bets in New Jersey instead.