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The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the PASPA law in 2018, allowing sports betting to become legal across the country. However, New York was a step ahead and legalized sports betting in 2013. The state passed the upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act. The amendment authorized four unbuilt casinos to accept sports wagering in New York.
As New York slowly grows its sports betting market, the Empire State could become one of the largest sports betting hubs in the country. The state could rival Nevada as the nation’s leader. However, New York is still far from that possibility. As sports betting becomes more mainstream, the state could explode as a growing number of New Yorkers hop in.
Timeline of New York Sports Betting
In 2011, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was looking to build casinos in upstate New York to compete with Native American tribal casinos. However, Cuomo needed to propose a bill to be passed by state legislators.
Senate Bill S5883, also known as the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act, was initially proposed in January 2013 by Sen. John Bonacic. The bill intended to create four casinos in upstate New York to help boost tourism and economic development. Also, casinos would be allowed to offer sports betting once it became legal.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the bill. Cuomo states, “This new law will bring the state one step closer to establishing world-class destination gaming resorts that will attract tourists to Upstate New York and support thousands of good-paying jobs as well as new revenue for local businesses.”
The new casinos begin to open from the 2013 Act. Del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County, Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County, Rivers Casino in Schenectady County, and Tioga Downs in Tioga County open for business in these two years. All four casinos now wait for national sports betting to become legal.
The biggest moment in sports betting history goes down as the U.S. Supreme Court deems the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional. This allows states to legalize sports betting across the U.S.
13 months after PASPA is deemed unconstitutional, the New York State Gaming Commission approved final regulations that allow sports betting to operate in upstate New York. The motion passed without opposition, by a 6-0 vote.
Rivers Casino became the first legal sportsbook in New York on July 16, 2019. The sportsbook is a 5,000 square ft—sports lounge powered by Rush Street and Kambi. A few days later, Tioga Downs opened there sportsbook for operation.
2020 and Beyond
New York has legal sports betting but will need constitutional amendments to expand from the four casinos. Senate Democrats put mobile sports betting in the 2020 fiscal budget but were left out in the final budget version. Sen. Joseph Addabbo has been vocal about the positive impact mobile betting can have in the state.
Although the state Senate is in favor of mobile sports betting, the opposition is being seen in the Assembly. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie shutdown talks of mobile sports betting, but the bill can be reintroduced in 2020-2021.
The Future of New York Sports Betting
New York has great potential for sports betting in terms of growth and revenue. Right now, only four sportsbooks are operating, and all four are in upstate New York. None of the sportsbooks are near the most populated city in the U.S. New York can expand sports betting in the state, but require more legislation to legalize mobile betting, or open up more sportsbooks.
This has slowed down the growth of sports betting in the state. The New York Senate has been proactive about legalizing mobile betting for the state. Sen. Addabbo has been at the forefront of legalization. However, Gov. Cuomo and members of the Assembly have yet to bring it up for discussion.
With the coronavirus pandemic leaving a potential $13 billion budget deficit for New York, state officials need to find a way to fill the gap. Sen. Addabbo estimates that the state could make $200 million per year in betting revenue. If mobile betting was legal in New York, a mature market could bring in even more with the state having a city with nine million people living in it.
The closest sportsbook to New York City is Bet365 who partnered Resorts World Catskills Casino in Monticello, which is a 90-mile drive from the city. Many bettors in New York City aren’t willing to make the trip when New Jersey is right across the river. The other three sportsbooks are much farther north. If the state can’t get New Yorkers to head to Monticello to place bets, then they are going to continue to lose out on revenue.
Despite the slow start in New York, the state still has the potential for something big. New York betting experts believe the state will eventually legalize mobile betting and expand sportsbooks across the entire state. Right now, it just depends on when lawmakers get around to discussing it.
New Jersey Impact
With no sportsbooks or mobile betting around New York City, the easiest way to place bets is to head across the river into New Jersey. Atlantic City is becoming the “Vegas of the East” with the amount of revenue they are producing from sports betting.
In 2019, $4.6 billion was bet in the Garden State, with 84 percent of the bets being placed online. Also, a study done in February of 2020 shows that New Yorkers wagered $837 million in their neighboring state. That’s almost one-fifth of the total amount wagered in 2019.
New Jersey’s impact on the state of New York shows staggering numbers that should make all New York politicians cringe. Sen. Addabbo has stated that the state could generate $200 million a year if mobile sports betting were legal. The numbers could go even higher if the state betting market matured.
New Jersey continues to bring in all the betting revenue New York continues to leave on the table. However, if New York does legalize mobile betting and expand sportsbooks into New York City, then the state could clean up as well.
Sen. Addabbo proposes sports betting to be taxed at 8.5 percent for in-person bets, and 12.5 percent for mobile bets. Also, the state would charge for sports betting licenses. This is where Addabbo is getting his estimates.
Again, the 2019 numbers from New York sports bettors in New Jersey are staggering. With New York feeling the fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak, they need to start to consider ways to fix the budget deficit. Mobile sports wagering is one of the best ways to generate revenue instantly. Allowing New Yorkers to bet $837 million in a different state is not going to good in the longterm.
Upstate New York has four sportsbooks as the earliest ones opened in July 2019. All four locations are commercial casinos. They can be found and partnered at:
1. DraftKings – Del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County
2. Betfair U.S./FanDuel Sportsbook – Tioga Downs Casino in Tioga County
3. Rush Street Interactive and Kambi Group PLC – Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady County
4. Bet365 – Resort World Catskills in Sullivan County
Since the inception of New York sports betting, the state has generated $9.6 million in revenue. However, sports betting has had a rocky start over the first nine months. In the first year, fall months saw the most revenue with over $2.2 million in revenue in Septemeber and October. With the NFL and MLB in season, and the NBA and NHL starting in October, the fall months are the best times of the year for sportsbooks.
However, things haven’t been as consistent. January posted a strong month for the sportsbooks generating over $1.9 million in revenue. Unfortunately, sportsbooks recorded a loss in February when they lost $179,593. DraftKings in Del Lago Resort was the only sportsbook to report positive revenue in February, but it only generated $98,247. March only saw $99,514 in revenue before the state shut down due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 has shutdown casinos across the state and hasn’t been able to bring in money since March. Sportsbooks also missed out on potential revenue from the popular March Madness tournament. Regardless, the four upstate sportsbooks could recover if they can take bets during football season. Until then, the sportsbooks will have to ride it out.
If mobile betting is allowed, then this could be a huge boost for the four. DraftKings and FanDuel are the two largest mobile betting sites in America. If mobile betting is passed, then the two could completely change the New York betting market. They could quickly expand into New York City and have the funding to promote their sportsbooks as the best ones to use in New York. For now, FanDuel and DraftKings will have to remain at their retail locations in upstate New York.
Also, tribal casinos are starting to get in on the action. In 2019, Caesar Entertainment partnered with three tribes. Caesars sportsbooks can be found in Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, and Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango. Also, FOXbet partnered with Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort in Hogansburg. A three-decade-old tribal gaming law, the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), requires states to allow sports betting for tribal groups if the state authorizes the activity for non-tribal gaming operators.
Although mobile betting is not legal in New York, sportsbooks are making sure they have a plan in place for when it does become legal. New York has 10 professional teams in the four major U.S. sports. New York City also has a WNBA team and two MLS teams.
The potential for sportsbooks in the state of New York is endless. Passionate fanbases will help sportsbooks out across the state, along with potential partnerships with teams. Also, all four major sports have their headquarters located in New York City, including the MLS. Sportsbooks also can partner with leagues to expand brand awareness.
Some of the biggest players in the game will want to get into the New York market if mobile betting becomes legal. It’s only a matter of time before the books are competing for market share.
FanDuel is partnered with Tioga Downs. They have launched its mobile app in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and Colorado. Also, they are one of the most popular sportsbooks in the U.S. and have a sportsbook operating in New York.
With a foot in the door in the Empire State, launching their mobile app should be fairly straightforward. This would help them grow exponentially throughout the state, including going into New York City. Also, this would keep New Yorkers in the state instead of heading over to bet in New Jersey.
Also, FanDuel has partnerships with the MLB, NBA, and NHL. If mobile betting expands in New York, then this could grow their partnerships. FanDuel was the first gaming operator to partner with an NFL team. They could develop their partnerships with pro teams in New York allows mobile betting.
DraftKings is partnered with del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County. They are another popular mobile betting site in the U.S., thanks to daily fantasy sports. DraftKings is now operating mobile sportsbooks in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. They also have operations set up in New York. Similar to FanDuel, DraftKings will be able to capitalize on mobile betting in New York if legalized.
DraftKings has partnered with the NBA and NFL. Their NFL partnership is the first gaming company to partner with America’s most popular sport. The NFL partnership could help expand brand recognition, especially in the state of New York.
Also, DraftKings could help keep New Yorkers in the state with legalized mobile betting. The sportsbook could give great promos to keep New Yorkers from heading over to New Jersey to place bets.
BetMGM has launched in New Jersey, West Virginia, Colorado, and Indiana. MGM is known for its sportsbooks in Las Vegas. Now, they are looking to expand into the mobile betting market, and New York would be a great place to start. If BetMGM was able to enter the mobile market early, then they could be a big player.
BetMGM has had success in New Jersey and could continue to have success in New York. With the amount of New Yorkers that travel from the city to New Jersey, they could keep a vast clientele by allowing New Yorkers to bet from home. Also, BetMGM has a partnership with Yahoo Sports, which would only increase their exposure.
WillaimHill US has operations in nine states, including New Jersey. The U.K. based sportsbook has one of the most popular mobile betting apps in the state of Nevada. This could be huge for the sportsbook if they were able to launch in New York.
Also, WilliamHill US has formed a strategic partnership with CBS Sports. CBS is one of the largest television networks in the U.S. and shows NFL games during their season. Also, WillaimHill partnered with Capital One Arena to place a sportsbook in the arena. They could expand their New York market share by doing something similar to a stadium like the Barclay’s Center.
PointsBet has launched in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, and Colorado. They would be another sportsbook to benefit from legalized mobile betting in New York. With operations already in New Jersey, the transfer to reaching bettors in New York City wouldn’t be difficult.
Also, PointsBet has a partnership with the NBA, which helps with brand exposure around the league and could partner with one of the NBA teams. Also, PointsBet was a sportsbook the partnered with the XFL before COVID-19 shut it down. PointsBet is not afraid to dive into untested markets, which could benefit them across the state.
FOX Bet has a partnership in place with Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. Whenever mobile betting becomes legal in New York, then they will be able to launch right away. FoxBet is operating in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
Don’t be surprised if FoxBet becomes one of the largest U.S. mobile sportsbooks. With backing behind Fox Corp, they can dip into any market and be backed by one of the largest media companies. Also, they already have partnerships with the MLB and the Philadelphia 76ers.
New York FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, right now, players can bet at one of the four sportsbooks operating in upstate New York. Del Lago Resort & Casino, Tioga Downs Casino, Rivers Casino & Resort, and Resort World Catskills are the four casinos a player can find sportsbooks.
No, sports betting is not legal in New York. Right now, New York Senators are in favor of passing mobile betting, but the AssemblyAssembly and Governor have not thought about it. However, the Coronavirus pandemic could speed up the process to help fill the budget deficit.
Yes, FanDuel Sportsbook is live at Tioga Downs. FanDuel is one of the four sportsbooks currently operating in the state. FanDuel does not have mobile services launched in the state. Until New York legalizes mobile betting, then players will have to go to Tioga Downs.
Yes, DraftKings Sportsbook is live at Del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County. DraftKings is another sportsbook available to bet at in upstate New York. Like Fanduel, DraftKings has a strong mobile presence, but won’t be able to launch until mobile betting is legal in the state.
No, players from New York City will have to travel to upstate New York to bet in the state. Bet365 is the closest sportsbook to New York City, which is about 90-miles in Monticello. Many New Yorkers head to New Jersey to place bets, which is a problem New York is trying to solve.
New York has four operating sportsbooks right now. However, Caesars has partnered with three tribal casinos to launch sportsbooks, but further legislation needs to be done before they open. If tribal casinos are allowed sportsbooks, then that would make seven for the state.
New York allows all major sports to bet. The NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB are the most popular. All types of bets are available in New York as well. The New York sportsbooks are no different from other sportsbooks across the country.
Yes, but some rules go along with betting college sports in New York. Overall, betting on college sports is no different in New York than across the country. However, players cannot bet on college teams from the state of New York.
Right now, mobile betting is still up in the air. Sen. Joseph Addabbo is working hard to try to get mobile betting running in the state. However, lawmakers have not discussed mobile betting enough to get a bill through the state.