Will Sports Betting Go Online in New York?
Betting on sports is becoming more accepted worldwide. In the United States, more states are also starting to legalize the local operations of sportsbooks. This started in 2018 when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States. Because of this, there are now over 20 states with legal sports betting including the state of New York.
New York has launched local sports betting in July 2019. However, unlike most states, New York has only legalized in-person betting. This means that the operations of sports betting odds site within the state is still not allowed. `The locals are only allowed to place their bets in licensed casinos in the state.
While the state was hopeful that the legislation of sports betting will bring in more revenues, this didn’t happen. Many were just really hoping that online betting will also be allowed. It also appears that New Yorkers would rather ride the train to New Jersey rather than go to the licensed casinos in New York to place their wagers.
Many were hopeful that Governor Cuomo would allow online betting during the first quarter of this year. However, when 2020 came in, Cuomo appears to be avoiding doing this. He said in a press conference that there are other ways to boost the revenue of betting in the state.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., however, didn’t want to stop pushing for online betting to be allowed in the state. In an interview, he talked about why mobile or online betting is important for the state.
Addabbo said, “This is the way that New York is losing revenue, number one. [We’re] losing educational funding because a portion of our gaming wages goes toward educational funding. And also, the addiction problem. Right now, if you want to help someone who has a gaming addiction you can’t help them because you don’t know who they are. Now that the pandemic’s hit, now you just added another upwards of $10 billion to our already $7 billion deficit in our budget. So the revenue need grows.”
Senator Addabbo also talked about why the state is taking long to legalize online betting. He said, “At first, the question was of the constitutionality of mobile sports betting in our state. But I think we’ve gone beyond the constitutionality issue because once you put the server that accepts the wager on the land of the licensed casino, you satisfy our constitutionality issue as well as the intent of the constitution.
“I was advocating that it should’ve been in the budget back in April because it is a revenue generator and an educational funding generator. But I had that opportunity and the Governor decided not to do it. And here we are six months later or so and your need for revenue and education funding has grown.”
The hesitation from Governor Cuomo is stemming from New York’s constitution. Article one, section nine of the constitution says that gambling should only be allowed in no more than seven facilities that are authorized and prescribed by the legislature. The governor is saying that it would require an amendment to New York’s constitution if mobile betting will be legalized.
However, Addabbo is saying that there is a solution to this. He is saying that the servers that will be accepting wagers from the locals should be placed in the authorized or licensed casinos instead. This way, the online wagers will still be processed in the casinos.
With how things are looking, the main question now is when will mobile betting be finally legalized in New York instead of whether it will ever be legalized. In July, there was a push for the constitution amendment from Governor Cuomo and Speaker Heastle. If this will be the case, it may take up to 2024 before online betting will be legal in New York.
However, there are now talks that online betting could be legal in the state as early as this year. This is because Speaker Heastle said that online and mobile betting will be included in an upcoming revenue bill. If this pushes through, then the locals should be able to download betting apps to place their bets.
For now, there is still no further update on the said revenue bill and whether it will push through this year. If in case mobile betting will be finally be allowed in New York, however, the state will likely be a single-skin state. This means that the four in-state operators will be allowed to partner with only one mobile wagering platform.