Will Covid 19 Impact New York Mobile Betting Legislation?

ny mobile betting update

New York was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak this spring. Like many states, the pandemic crushed the state’s budget, and now New York is looking for ways to generate revenue to reduce the gap. Mobile betting could be fast-tracked to help relieve New York’s budget deficit.

New York Senator Joesph Addabbo has been at the forefront of legalized sports betting and mobile betting in New York. The state has legalized sports betting in four upstate casinos. However, they have not allowed sports betting around New York City.

With the coronavirus outbreak going on world-wide, New York could turn to mobile betting, which Addabbo estimates could bring $160 million to $200 million a year in revenue. With a state that could see a budget deficit in the billions, mobile sports betting would help alleviate the pain left from COVID-19.

Mobile Betting Timeline

Despite Sen. Addabbo pushing hard for mobile betting, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, hasn’t even brought it up since discussions in the state Congress began. Also, New York City was hit the hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak, so Cuomo had other things to deal with first.

Now, New York is past the worst of the Coronavirus and needs money. In 2019, New York was to study mobile betting and file a report by December 31, 2019. However, the study didn’t begin until November and did not on time.

The post-Coronavirus outbreak could be the perfect time to bring back the study so that New York lawmakers could discuss legalizing mobile betting. However, the state would need to discuss details about how they would want to regulate it. The New York Congress is still in session, but the pandemic delayed talks, and Cuomo does not seem confident he will allow them to continue on this year.

Lack of discussion could continue to slow mobile betting progress down if state lawmakers are not in session. Cuomo opened up New York racetracks June 1 but has still yet do discuss mobile betting for the state.

No one knows when mobile betting will arrive in New York. Addabbo needs to continue to push for the legislation despite Cuomo, not even raising an eyebrow towards the possibility. Mobile betting would bring millions per year to state revenue. Especially during a time when they could use it.

Also, New Yorkers would stay in the state to bet instead of traveling to New Jersey to place bets. The state is losing out on revenue because of sports betting accessibility. If mobile betting became legal in New York, it could generate the most revenue in the country.

Potential Hurdles

Mobile sports betting will become legal in New York. No one knows when that will be, however. The state still faces some potential hurdles in legalizing mobile betting. Also, there could be implications of New York does not legalize mobile betting, or sports betting in New York City. The state is losing millions as people travel to New Jersey to place their bets.

Gov. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to bring up mobile betting for the state of New York. Despite needing to bring in millions to recover from the COVID-19 budget deficit, he has yet to consider the amount of revenue sports wagering generates.

Cuomo has not decided if Congress hearings will resume in 2020. The pandemic shut the whole state down, and Cuomo could deem it dangerous for lawmakers to return to discussions. If this happens, then mobile sports betting will most likely have to wait another year. Sen. Addabbo has done everything he’s could to keep discussions going, but Cuomo could end it until 2021.


For New York, COVID-19 broke out in early March, and the state has shut down for nearly three months. With things starting to open up slowly, there is a chance to get the ball rolling on mobile betting. However, Cuomo has a focus on controlling the outbreak in his state. The outbreak could postpone talks of anything non-COVID related as the hardest-hit state in the country slowly recovers.

Neighbor New Jersey

Atlantic City has always been a gambling hub for New Yorkers to escape too. Now, New Yorkers are doubling down as they travel to their neighboring state to place sports betting wagers. Since July 2019, New York has generated over $9 million in revenue, while New Jersey has generated over $273 million.

The state of New York losses out on millions as New Jersey allows mobile betting in their state. Also, the state saw 84 percent of $4.5 billion in bets on mobile devices. Sen. Addabbos laid out how New York could see $160 million to $200 million a year due to legal sports betting.

The projected revenue numbers should pique any Governor’s interest in getting a bill through. However, Cuomo has yet to discuss to possibility as his state losses millions to New Jersey. The hurdles to legalizing mobile betting in New York aren’t much. The state is looking for additional revenue post-COVID-19, and sports betting will help the cause.