New York officially launched sports betting in 2019, but the industry has yet to really take off. All of the betting must be done in-person at this time, but there has been a recent push to legalize mobile sports betting.
A recent webinar was held by the Government Law Center at the Albany Law School, and it was clear that online sports betting needs to be offered now. There is a March 30 deadline when it comes to passing the budget for the next fiscal year, and action needs to be taken immediately.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has finally given his support to online sports betting, but it’s now up to lawmakers to pass a bill. There appeared to be some momentum early on in 2021, but talks have stalled in the last few weeks.
Native American tribes in New York could also provide some opposition as they are unwilling to give up casino revenue. A deal could be reached to include those Native American tribes, but those discussions need to begin quickly.
Market Falling Behind
New York sports betting brought in $3.6 million in revenue during the month of January, which was a record for the state. It’s a good sign that the revenue numbers are going up, but New York continues to fall well behind some other states.
New Jersey fell just short of reaching $1 billion in total sports betting handle, and plenty of that action came from New York residents. Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Illinois round out the top-four in terms of the biggest sports betting markets, and it will take some time for New York to be able to catch up to the leaders.
Sportsbooks Ready to Go
New York already has some of the top names in the sports betting industry available in the state, and these companies could easily transition to offering online sports betting. DraftKings and FanDuel are two of the biggest names in the market and would likely become the top online options.
If online sports betting is going to become popular in New York, then the state will have to allow mobile registration instead of in-person. It’s unclear what form of registration will be required, but it would be a huge blow to force customers to sign up at a retail sportsbook.
Plenty of Teams to Drive Betting
New York City is one of the biggest sports markets in the entire world, and other teams are scattered throughout the state as well. Even if New York was to place a rule prohibiting betting on in-state college teams, professional teams would become popular picks.
The New York Giants and Jets of the NFL would easily bring in the most wagers, but the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets of the NBA would be popular as well. The MLB rivalry between the Mets and Yankees are two other teams that would help drive betting.
There is a reason that most lawmakers and industry experts believe that New York could become the biggest sports betting market in the US, but only if full online betting is launched.