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 the Lead Writer for PlayNY, arriving after covering several of New York's professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPN He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer. With PlayNY, Mike brings extensive coverage and unique story angles to what is projected to be one of the biggest and most lucrative online sports betting markets in the country. It's been an arduous and confounding process to get here, but 20 million New Yorkers (many of them die-hards) are now legally able to bet on their favorite sports teams across the state via online and mobile platforms.

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