The Progress of Sports Betting in New York
As we wind down 2019, many felt confident that New York would have been one of the lead horses in the race to legalize sports betting. The legislation made it through without much fanfare that opened up physical sportsbook locations. This was seen as monumental, in a state that would watch money walk across its borders into neighboring states that legalized sports gambling ahead of them. However, legislators slowed progress and stopped just shy of the finish line. The goal is to be able to provide users the ability to signup, get their Betway bonus along with being able to provide as many types of bets and sports betting options via smartphones. However, there have been some issues.
Here’s what to expect from New York in 2020 concerning the question of mobile sports betting.
Last summer, the first official New York sports bet was placed at the Rivers Sportsbook in Schenectady. Over the next couple of weeks, eight additional facilities became active across the Upstate. Other sportsbooks opened later in the summer and the early part of this past fall.
However, the overall progress of sports betting in New York was slow. Many connected with the industry believe the legislative roadblocks that sports bettors have had to hurdle stem from recent battle scars between the state and daily fantasy sports.
The DFS Battlefield
New York was one of the most hotly contested battlefields fought by the two primary daily fantasy sports providers. Both FanDuel and DraftKings went toe-to-toe with the New York legislator over the legality of DFS contests.
Eventually, after the New York State Constitution was dissected, it was determined that daily fantasy sports games were not a violation. The DFS strategy was to defend the battlefield against those who deemed it sports gambling.
In the end, the DFS players won the battle, but it seemed to leave some scars that have slowed the progress of sports betting. FanDuel and DraftKings opened up some wounds with lawmakers during their fierce fight to legalize DFS.
Both became immediate players when the legal push for sportsbooks took off in November 2018. However, even as New York legislators became more and more amiable to the financial windfall sportsbooks offer, the mobile component has yet to be approved.
When Will New York Make that Call?
With a lead created by an enormous online customer base, it’s not surprising that FanDuel and DraftKings won a chunk of market share in the states where sports betting is legal. Collectively, the two mobile sports betting giants absorbed over 80 percent of the pie in New Jersey.
When crunching the betting revenue numbers in states where mobile and online options are available, close to 80 percent of the handle is taken through apps and sportsbook websites. New York has taken step one by legalizing sports betting.
However, the second stage is almost as obvious as the first. There are estimates that the total value of legalized gambling on mobile devices to be potentially a $150 billion industry.
New York is eventually going to make the right call and legalize betting online. But, will old wounds resurface when determining who the players in the game will be? What we do know is that for all the fanfare 2019 only scratched the surface for sports betting in New York.
In 2019, the New York Senate showed overwhelming support for legal sportsbooks. Bill S17D won the New York Senate vote in a landslide, 57 to 5. There seemed to be enough momentum for the Bill to navigate its way through the Assembly easily.
However, until the Assembly Speaker chooses to bring a Bill to the floor, there can be no vote. With winds that Governor Andrew Cuomo would veto the Bill as written, no such vote was ever called. That leaves New York in somewhat of a state of bettors limbo.
By legalizing sports betting at physical venues, one huge hurdle has already been overcome. The financial numbers attached to mobile betting are also overwhelming. There was reason for joy among New York sports betting fans in 2019, but the state slowed at the finish line.
What can we expect in 2020? Lawmakers follow the financial and legal ramifications of their decisions. There is a public cry for mobile sports betting across the country, let alone in the Empire State. New York will eventually make the right call and sports bettors will be able to do the same.
Joseph is a long-time sports betting enthusiast based out of New York. He loves the Jets and is happily married with 2 kids.