New York has over 20m residents and is home to some of the biggest sports franchises in the world, you would therefore think that sports betting would be a natural part of the culture for the Empire State. In some ways that statement is true, New York was one of the first states to legalize sports betting in 2013 yet despite this it posted just $7.8m of sportsbook revenue in 2019 compared to the $4.5b in neighboring state New Jersey.
The main reason that casino and gambling revenue is tiny in comparison to neighboring states New Jersey and Pennsylvania, is that despite New York being one of the first to permit sportsbook betting at land based casinos and retail sports betting locations, it’s been slow to come up with a solution as to the best way to permit betting through online casino and sportsbook sites and mobile betting apps.
This indecisiveness has let neighboring states steal a march on New York, with many Empire State residents preferring to cross county lines to place a sports bet. The other option being used by New York gamblers in the unlicensed and unregulated offshore betting markets.
The longer the situation goes unresolved, the more lost tax revenue there is for the state of New York, with the pandemic showing that even when the commercial casino is closed down, a New York resident will find any means possible to place their bet.
To understand why the situation is so complex, it’s worth taking a brief history lesson to understand the origins of gambling and the state and federal laws within the United States that have held the industry back for decades.
Why Gambling Is So Popular
Gambling has been part and parcel of the social world since time immemorial. For as long as one can remember, placing wagers has been part of human civilization. Gambling started officially in the Paleolithic period. The dice saw the light of the day in 3000 BC while gambling houses in China have existed since the first millennium BC.
Poker happened to become the most popular gambling game involving cards in the 17th century and still happens to be one of the most popular games today. In the year 1638, the first-ever brick-and-mortar casino in the world opened in the country of Italy. Horse racing was also one of the first forms of gambling and still to this day remains extremely popular.
In more recent times there has been a massive shift in how people place their bets, casinos have shifted online to render their services to one and all. The world of online gambling has benefited massively from the internet and today there is a ton of opportunities and betting options available.
There are a large number and variants of games that range from slot games, card games, and table games. There are options for live casinos wherein players can find a place at a table and are guided by a live dealer on-screen. This is the closest online betting has come to emulating real-life casinos and in many ways is just as good. Mobile sports wagering has made it all the more efficient to place a bet from the comfort of your own home or on the go.
Another novel option that has come into the gambling scene in the present time is sports betting. Sports betting options combined with 24-hour coverage of sports is the thing that unites the world of sports and betting. Thus, both sports enthusiasts worldwide can enjoy gambling without knowing much about cards or slot games.
Sports betting is formed around a concept that almost all sports lovers are engaged in the event when watching sports. Predicting a game’s results is almost second nature to the sports fan. Thus, placing a bet on your prediction and getting paid if you are correct seems a natural fit.
Sports Betting In The United States Of America
The sports betting industry has gained popularity all over the world. It’s a widely held view that the world of sports betting is yet to reach its peak. The number of online casinos is increasing every other day, sports betting platforms have also been on the rise. There are more and more operators who are making bookies available on their websites. The thing that makes the concept of sports betting even more user-friendly is mobile sports betting.
The introduction of mobile phones to gambling has led to a sharp increase in the number of people interested in gambling. Online sports betting has gained popularity among serious bettors, amateurs, and sports lovers who want to make quick money while enjoying their favorite game.
New York specifically has a huge contribution to gambling in the United States of America. According to studies in the year 2020, Americans have spent $3 billion on sports wagering. This figure has been attainable simply because the United States has gotten rid of the federal ban, which prohibited residents from indulging in sports gambling.
Since October 2020, eleven states in the United States have made sports bets and fantasy sports legal. Additionally, seven more states have made the act of sports betting legal, but they are yet to decide on a date for the launch. The list of the states includes New Jersey, New York State, and Nevada.
According to studies, the tax revenue from sports betting has been up by $237.5 million, which amounts to 53.5%. Some of the USA states that have made legal sports betting options available are West Virginia, Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and among that is, of course, the Empire State.
For states where laws are unclear, and residents stand the fear of being prosecuted for playing online casino games and partaking in sports betting at an online casino, they can try out the offshore sportsbooks that accept players from a large number of countries in the world.
People from the States have contributed greatly to online gambling, and New York has been high on the list when generating revenue from sports wagering.
Sports Betting In The State Of New York
The state of New York has been the home to some of the most modern casino solutions over time. The sportsbook industry in New York has been operational and legal at all the retail sportsbook sites or places. The rest of it, however, fell under a grey area.
In 2013, the New York state made it lawfully eligible to wager on a sporting event and daily fantasy sports. Even before sports betting was a thing in New York, there have been tribal casinos that have been functional for quite some time.
Tribal casinos are Native American establishments that comprise bingo halls, casinos, and similar other gambling options on the lands that belong to tribal sovereignty and are reserved by the Indians. Tribal casinos have also been the reason people from New York state have started gambling. However, there have been certain prominent casino developments in the state which we shall also include in this article.
There has been harm to the state’s growth as there is no online market that has been made legal by the State. The money either goes to the few commercial and tribal casinos in New York or the offshore casino websites. On the other hand, New Jersey has made sure to include online betting under the law and has been churning millions of dollars as revenue.
New York has a huge market for betting as especially bookies, as over 80% of the bets that come in the New Jersey bookies are from New York. However, things are looking up as Governor Cuomo has announced his support towards mobile and online betting in New York. However, he plans to initiate the same under the State-run Lottery system. This has received quite a bit of backlash.
Recent Developments In New York
The recent developments in the New York state have been intimated by Governor Andrew Cuomo. There is a handsome amount allotted to the online betting industry within the state budget. Furthermore, sports betting is said to be implemented by Governor Cuomo in a limited-operator model. He intends to include and manage the online sportsbook industry through the State Lottery of New York.
According to the plan that he has, the New York State Lottery would be in charge of operating the online sports betting market rather than the casinos. The belief is that doing it this way would ultimately generate more tax revenue for the state.
However, Governor Cuomo’s plans on how to make gambling generate money for the state have received quite a bit of push back from various parties. The end result of the Governor’s plans is that there would only be one sportsbook in operation which would lead to less competition and impact on consumer competition.
From lawyers to sports bettors, people have expressed their concerns over this matter due to the absence of any competition. New York wishes to have a limited number of casinos operating under their licenses, which potentially means bettors will miss innovation and improvement.
Compared to other states like Pennsylvania or New Jersey, the range of gambling opportunities on commercial casinos and sports betting establishments, including mobile sports betting websites, would be limited.
The Governor has assured the New York people that the decision is yet to be finalized. Even though sports betting is legal in New York, it is only restricted to the handful of four upstate casinos like Tioga Downs within the city. According to the laws, New York residents cannot enjoy time at any online platform.
The result of this indecision has meant many people tend to evade the rules by registering themselves on offshore casino websites. In New Jersey, online bets form close to 90% of the total gambling done within the state and it’s the New Jersey model that is being held up as the one New York should follow as it has proved to be the most successful.
It’s yet to be seen if one of the most populated areas in the United States of America are to enjoy legalized NY sports betting online or have to wait until this issue is resolved. It would be far easier if there are fewer regulations and restrictions on the bettors and operators and according to the statistics, close to 20% of New Jersey’s revenues come from New York residents.
Predictions are being made that the sportsbook apps will take forever to be legalized in the state, thereby making New Jersey and Nevada the United States of America’s commercial gambling capitals.
Arguments Against The Sports Betting Proposals In New York
Even though the proposal has faced support from both the Assembly and the Senate for sport betting to be legalized in the state, there has been no bill yet. The arguments against the monopolized market for sports betting have come in a lot of directions.
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow openly advertises his will to have an open market for mobile sportsbooks in the state. Along with him has joined State Senator Joseph Addabbo. They understand the boost the revenues might make to New York’s state with the help of the money raised from taxes on bettors.
With the implementation of Cuomo’s proposal, there will be more cash inflow to New Jersey, which has established casinos only eight to ten miles away from New York. The director of the budget, Robert Mujica, believes that the state-run limited casino model would lead to more revenue than an open market of online casinos and sportsbooks believing that residents would be cashing in at the physical destinations the experience and faster payouts.
The predictions have shown great fluctuations, but there have been none when it comes to figures collected from the ground. The State lottery and its idea of sports bookies generate less revenue than the competitive world of gambling online. Thus, opening up the market would be the best thing to do overall.
According to Addabbo’s proposal, he says that New York State should have 14 mobile betting licenses. There will also be opening up of the tribal casinos, OTB parlors, and stadiums to the online sports betting industry so that wagering is legal. A strict environment and lack of choice with betting will inevitably lead to a more restricted form of gambling where residents are likely to carry on with offshore sportsbooks when they do not find what they are looking for under the State Lottery.
However, Senator Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have extended their support towards the legalization and have assured the public that there will be some conclusion on this topic by 2021. Senator Addabbo has been making an extra effort by pushing the Bill 17D that aims to legalize online sports betting in the States as he believes that the state is losing out on $1 billion with the lack of proper online sports bookies.
To Sum It Up
No matter what the gambling industry of New York has in store for the residents, the good news is that there will be the legalization of the sports betting industry at some point. There will be relaxation on daily fantasy games as well. The bill is yet to undergo a lot of work due to contradictory approaches being proposed.
Even though Cuomo intends to grant licenses to establishments within the state, it will be challenging to bring the tribal casinos under the State Lottery due to the federal law that states that the casinos can operate under their own volition agree with the US Government.
Thus, bill or no bill, the tribal casinos can provide sports betting opportunities anyway without the Senate or the Assembly’s interference. Moreover, even though Cuomo’s proposal includes the word ‘online, there is no clear instruction on how they would conduct online sports gambling in the city.
Either way, they would be losing their residents to online gambling sites if they did not strategize their plan well. For ones who are stuck in the loop, offshore casinos and New Jersey based casinos will save them till there is legalization within the state.