Legislators in New York have another state to use as an example as they continue their fight to legalize mobile sports betting, especially in the face of a $7 billion state deficit.
Colorado, earlier this month, became the 18th state to allow sports gambling, and early predictions have numbers as high as $2 billion in bets during the first year of operation.
Mobile sports betting proponents in New York already have neighboring New Jersey as a prime example of what a push for mobile wagering can accomplish. Last year, according to the NY Daily News, New Jersey wagers topped $4.5 billion, and a staggering $3.78 billion of that came directly from mobile devices.
Is sports betting legal in New York?
Traditional in-person wagers on sports have been legal in the state of New York since the first bet was taken in July 2019 at Rivers Casino in Schenectady, though the options are restricted to nine various casinos, according to USA Today.
Although New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo left mobile sports betting off the 2021 budget, those in support of it still see potential for a possible revenue stream. Proponents of expanding bill S17, sponsored by New York State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, hope it can provide over $30 million per month for the state’s coffers.
“I’m not giving up the fight,” Addabbo said to the Daily News. According to Legal Sports Report, New York received $9.7 million in sports betting revenue between July 2019 and the first of this year. Comparatively, New Jersey hauled in $243.3 million in the same timeframe. Addabbo has said he hopes to have the S17 expansion, which would add mobile betting to the existing sports gambling regulations, signed into law by the governor by Dec. 31, 2020.
What will legalizing mobile sports betting in New York accomplish?
First and foremost, the legalization of mobile sports betting is expected to give a bump in state revenue, a concern with even more urgency than usual as New York and other states cope with increased budget demands due to the coronavirus pandemic. With New Jersey and Pennsylvania ($2.13 billion in wagers and $115.5 million in sports betting revenue) both having legal mobile wagers, it’s likely some New York residents simply cross state lines to make bets. Not only would New York expect a boost in revenue from gamblers using mobile platforms to make sports wagers, but the potential to capture revenue currently leaving the state would increase as well.
Companies are already seeing the potential in such a change in New York law. Earlier this year, DraftKings and Madison Square Garden announced a marketing partnership that will allow the daily fantasy sports site to advertise during Knicks and Rangers games, and to run promotions at the Westchester County Center during Westchester Knicks games. And, among other advertising opportunities, DraftKings will be able to set up “activation areas” at a variety of events, which would allow fans to sign up on-site for the company’s mobile app.
“We are proud to be named the official sports betting partner and continue as the daily fantasy partner of The World’s Most Famous Arena and for two of the most iconic franchises in all of sports that play there,” said DraftKings chief business officer Ezra Kucharz in a statement.
When could mobile sports betting be legalized?
If New York lawmakers, and Gov. Cuomo, do legalize sports betting via mobile devices, then companies and the New York Gaming Commission will begin the process of bringing mobile gambling to the state’s residents. However, according to ESPN Radio’s 93.7 FM in New Jersey, the earliest possible date for online platforms to go live would be roughly six months from when the bill is signed into law, which would make 2021 the earliest likely target.