Online Sports Betting In New York Will Prohibit Wagering On In-State Colleges … For Now

Written By Mike Mazzeo on November 24, 2021
College Basketball Syracuse Orange

Legalized online sports betting is coming to New York in early 2022, barring any unexpected setbacks.

But bettors won’t be able to wager on any in-state college teams, like Syracuse, St. John’s or Army. While customers can bet on any collegiate events taking place in the Empire State, those in-state programs remain off-limits.

As Sen. Joe Addabbo explained, “the intent was in an effort to protect New York college athletes from outside influences.”

But how long will it stay this way?

Addabbo open to all NY online sports betting policy changes

Neighboring New Jersey has had online sports betting in place since August 2018. The state also prohibits bettors from wagering on local college teams, and on collegiate sporting events taking place in the state.

New Jersey introduced making a change, but voters rejected the ballot question on Nov. 2.

All of it creates a situation where, given the close proximity between the two states, NY and NJ bettors have to use a bridge or tunnel to place their in-state college bets. They could also wager in nearby Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Addabbo, who acknowledged the uniqueness of the proximity of states on this particular college issue, has been very open with the fact that he’s willing to listen and make changes in order to improve NY online sports betting, even when it’s not even online yet.

“This issue is a fraction of the totality of mobile sports betting, but it’s something to keep an eye on,” Addabbo said. “(Some policies) start out with good intentions, but we’ll see. If we’ve missed the mark on something, the legislature has to stay ready to correct it or to improve it.

“I’m always constantly thinking about the next step. I think that’s what the market dictates. You’ve got to be competitive, and again, New York has to play catchup, so you look at what other states are doing and say, ‘Ok, we’ve got to do this.’”

Colleges in other states have formed sports betting partnerships

There have been several college sports point-shaving scandals over the years. One of the most prominent, centered around CCNY, occurred in 1950-51 and involved four schools in Great New York.

But times have certainly changed — especially with the new NIL rule that allows for student-athletes to have opportunities to make money by selling their “name, image and likeness” rights.

In fact, with the increase of online sports betting in certain states, many colleges have formed partnerships with providers.

For example, UNLV and William Hill partnered in 2017. More recently, PointsBet teamed with Colorado-Boulder, while LSU became the first SEC-school to do so when it linked up with Caesars.

Like Addabbo said, it’s something to keep an eye on.

Photo by AP / Darron Cummings
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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