One big question that has been on lots of people’s minds in the online gaming industry is when New York will make its entrance into online sports betting. In the past two years, states around the country, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Illinois have all passed laws lifting the bans on online sports betting. New York is one of the states that is still dragging its feet and taking its time to get on board of this new, exciting way to generate much-needed revenue for its citizens.
Opening the Door to the Possibility
Up until recently, casino gambling wasn’t prevalent in the state outside of tribal casinos managed by different Native American tribes, such as the Seneca Nation or the Oneida Nation. These casinos in upstate New York were separate from the standard gambling and gaming laws governing the rest of the region. In 2013, however, the state lawmakers amended the constitution to open the door for casino operations throughout the entire state. Casinos in the Catskills and other resort areas started to open soon after the law passed.
The Supreme Court Decision
Sports betting still wasn’t legal according to federal law until a Supreme Court decision in 2018. This decision repealed a federal standard that banned betting on professional and amateur sports games. From this point forward, the decision to allow sports betting was left to the states to decide. Months after the Supreme Court abolished the law, states around the nation began offering new sports gaming options and online sports betting to residents and visitors.
Sports Gambling Begins
In New York state, once the federal law was repealed, sports betting was deemed legal. The first official bet on a sporting event happened in a New York casino in the summer of 2019. The laws on the books in New York only applied to in-person betting on sports games. If someone wanted to bet on a sporting event or game, the person had to be physically in a casino and use only the casino’s services. Online betting through sportsbooks offering mobile apps was still considered illegal.
Efforts by State Lawmakers
State lawmakers in both the New York Senate and Assembly have been working to try and allow online sports betting. They’ve seen how much tax revenue other states have been able to collect from this additional source of income. State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. is one of the lawmakers working to bring online sports betting to the state. He is the chairman of the Committee on Gaming, Racing, and Wagering. So far, his efforts have not been successful at placing online sports betting into the New York state budget.
The Governor’s Role
One of the opponents of online sports betting is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has been one of the roadblocks for state lawmakers who support online sports betting. Cuomo believes that adding online sports betting to New York is something that the current constitution doesn’t allow. Cuomo’s supporters believe that a constitutional amendment is needed to add online sports betting to the state.
The Industry’s Readiness
The gaming industry seems prime to accommodate online sports betting in New York. Online gaming vendors are ready to add New York to their list of locales that allow online betting and would open the door to passing in NY. If Cuomo and his supporters are right, there would be a three-year process to get an amendment going to allow for online sports betting.
Revenue for a Hard-Hit State
New York’s current struggle against the coronavirus may help pave the way to open up the state to online sports betting. New York City and the counties surrounding it have been one of the hardest-hit areas by the current health pandemic. The state’s resources, personnel, and resolve have been tested by this situation. One way to help relieve the pressure on the state and increase potential revenue to pay for more health care workers, ventilators, medical supplies, and benefits for people who are out of work would be to add online sports betting as an income source.
The future of online sports betting in New York is increasingly bright. People all around the state have been practicing social distancing to help slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. More people are staying home and needing something to do to occupy their time as they wait for the virus to pass. Now is the time to start offering online sports betting to the people of New York. The virus and current status of New York’s health crisis have impacted the ability of in-person casinos to generate big profits for the state. Online sports betting apps could help.
New York state has a few obstacles to get online sports betting on mobile apps up and running in the near future. People all throughout the state seem to be ready to try it out as long as the state lawmakers can get laws regulating it officially passed.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!