The New York Yankees and New York Mets both have sportsbook-branded spaces at their respective stadiums. But the DraftKings Sportsbook Lounge at Yankee Stadium is merely just a bar for Legends Suite ticket holders, while the Caesars Sportsbook at Citi Field is merely just a restaurant with a nice view out in left field.
Both teams would like to have NY sports betting kiosks included in those spaces, but the bill to allow them didn’t go anywhere during the 2022 legislative session.
However, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen in 2023.
“I think it enhances a fan’s experience at a racetrack, arena or stadium,” Sen. Joe Addabbo told PlayNY recently. “I think there’s a segment of the population — albeit at small one — that doesn’t like to use the phone. … I think there’s a place for it.”
Lawmakers working toward NY sports betting kiosks
New York has already reaped the financial benefits of online sports betting, already generating over $300 million in tax revenue in six months. But for those who aren’t as technologically savvy, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to head to a kiosk, tap the screen and print a ticket — similar to the ones in Belmont Park.
Addabbo (who is running for re-election in District 15) and counterpart Assemb. Gary Pretlow (who is running for re-election in District 89) both plan to renew the push for kiosks in 2023, assuming they keep their respective seats. This time, they will separate kiosks into a different bill from including fixed-odds horse racing on all of the apps.
“We’ll figure out the issues of constitutionality, because I think once the server of that kiosks is on the land of a licensed casino, I think we’re good,” Addabbo said. “That seems to be a good, credible, solid formula to do it that way and satisfy the constitution.”
Like many other professional sports teams in the US, the Yankees and Mets have been all-in on generating sportsbook partnership revenues while also increasing fan engagement as a result. The Bronx Bombers have partnerships with DraftKings, FanDuel and Bet365. Meanwhile, the Amazins’ have ballpark advertising featuring Caesars, DraftKings and MGM Empire City.
Physical sports betting options popping up around MLB
Other teams are already a step ahead. The Washington Nationals opened up the BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park, which features six betting windows and 17 kiosks. Caesars Sportsbook debuted at Chase Field in Arizona in late June. And the Chicago Cubs recently began construction on a two-story sportsbook next to Wrigley Field.
On Sunday, Dave Friedman, executive vice president of legal and government affairs for the Boston Red Sox, told attendees at the NCLGS Summer Meeting that the team hopes to add a sportsbook next to Fenway Park as legislation allows. Currently, Massachusetts policymakers are hopeful of legalizing online sports betting by the end of the month.
According to data from GeoComply, Yankees fans had 15,000 geolocation checks during their home opener on approximately 2,600 unique accounts. Similarly, Mets fans had nearly 17,000 geolocation checks during their home opener on approximately 4,000 unique sportsbook usernames.
Over that span, according to GeoComply, sportsbook engagement with fans attending the home openers was nearly six times greater than New Yorkers not at the games.
So it’s clear there’s an appetite for online sports betting.
New York also would be wise to add more markets, such as like individual player award futures. Addabbo and Pretlow are open to that conversation continuing as legislative budget season approaches in January. This would also enhance the fan experience, giving some an easier opportunity to place wagers. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t happen in 2023.