A New York Monopoly Could Prove Damaging To State

New York could become the largest legal sports betting market in the United States, experts claim, but concerns have been given about the potential shortfall should the State Gaming Commission operate mobile sports betting as a monopoly.

Legal online sports betting

According to PlayNY’s estimates, the jurisdiction is capable of producing $20 billion a year in wagers, should Governor Andrew Cuomo follow through with his plan to make online sports betting legal in the state.

Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNY.com said: “There is no question that New York would almost immediately become the crown jewel of the legal US sports betting market. 

“The devil is always in the details, but opening a market that could be worth more than $20bn a year in bets could be a game-changing moment for the entire industry. 

“On the other hand, a state monopoly, such as what governor Cuomo proposed, would be a mistake that could forever limit the ceiling for New York.”

Raising tax

With an open market like New Jersey, the area is said to have the capacity to produce more than $1 billion in gross gaming revenue annually on bets of more than $20 billion.

Although the tax structure has yet to be determined, it will raise more than $100 million annually if charged identically on retail sportsbooks.

A big market

With a survey by researcher Eilers & Krejcik Gaming in February 2020 estimating that New Yorkers wagered $837 m in the Garden State in 2019, the Empire State has already proven to be a major revenue generator for New Jersey.

Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNY.com said: “Mobile sports betting will undoubtedly draw billions in bets in New York, and is easily one of the most prized markets that have yet to legalize it.

“It will be a big market no matter what, but the Cuomo plan has a chance to significantly lower the potential revenue ceiling.”

A state-run sportsbook

According to PlayNJ, a state-run sportsbook will allow the state to capture more of the gross gaming profits, which in turn makes it attractive to state governments.

It is warned, however, that a monopoly would do little to benefit troubled racetracks and retail casinos in New York, among other problems, with bettors also left with less options and less tempting promotions.

Ramsey added: “The intent for New York and other states is to produce revenue for the state, and a state-run monopoly can do that very thing.

“But bettors ultimately suffer and tend to engage less than in states that are open markets, artificially reducing the size of the market. It’s a balance that New York will have to grapple with as the state figures out how to structure mobile sports betting.”