Lack Of New York Online Sports Betting Proving Costly

After three failed attempts to legalize sports betting, clamors have reignited from high profile people across New York. This is on the back of New Jersey reporting record-high numbers in October. With New Jersey bringing in millions of dollars of revenue, New York is prepared to get in on the action (literally!)

For the New York resident, a simple trip down I-287 and over the Mario Cuomo Bridge will give any bettor the opportunity to wager on the sport of their choosing. New York does not profit from this transaction in any facet, regardless of bettors who live in the state making the trip to New Jersey to place wagers. 

All the bettor has to do is place the bet across state borders. Any deposits, withdrawals, and even account setup can be done anywhere. New Jersey will continue to reap all of the benefits… 

How Much Is New York Really Losing Each Year?

In February of 2020, market research firm Eilers & Krejcik estimated that New York was losing between $203 million and $286 million per year. 

This range from Eilers & Krejcik is considering how much in tax revenue the state would earn from legalized online sports betting. New York does have retail sports betting, but those options are upstate and do not utilize the massive Manhattan market. 

In a report filed to the New York Post, New York Yankees president Randy Levin commented on the state’s lack of mobile sports betting. Levine said, “The City needs the State’s help to push for and pass laws that other states are already using to pay for budget shortfalls. These include Mobile Sports Betting and, possibly, Marijuana use laws.”

Randy Levine even commented on New Yorkers traveling across state lines to go to New Jersey to bet and, in some cases, purchase legal marijuana. 

“Since New Jersey has already passed both, the spillover has already impacted New York.”

New York radio legend Mike Francesa weighed in on the issue as well. He clearly agrees with Levine:

“The legislature in NY and the governor have dropped the ball. Every one of these companies cannot wait for New York to be online. New Jersey is huge only because New York isn’t available. Half of that wagering comes from New York! In a time where New York desperately needs money, to not be online is insane.”

When Can We Expect Online Sports Betting In New York?

The best-case scenario for New York online sports betting will be a 2021 launch, preferably early in the year. However, the hope for Super Bowl LIV betting is extremely unlikely. 

Currently, there is a bill out called the S17D Bill. The bill relates to the regulation of sports betting and mobile sports wagering. The current bill has passed the committee stage and passed the senate. Hopefully, it will be placed in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo sometime in 2021 for a signature. 

Up until this point, Governor Cuomo has been resistant to bills that would grant legalized sports betting to the state. 

New Jersey has taken clear advantage of the situation. New York has stalled, and New Jersey is putting up record numbers. In October, New Jersey set a record for total wagers at $803 million. This puts NJ at a whopping $4 billion in total wagers this year alone. 

However, Bill S17D would give New York 8.5 percent of sports wagering gross revenue. This would bring plenty of revenue to the state. 

To compare, New Jersey had a gross gaming revenue of $2.6 million in October alone. At an 8.5% rate, this would bring in $221,000 in taxes for a single month. 

Democratic Senator Joseph Abbaddo Jr. was optimistic in October that Governor Cuomo would legalize sports betting before the end of the year. In a conference call on December 2nd, Abbaddo once again reassured the push for mobile sports betting. 

Abbaddo said, “My colleagues know that we need the money and there will be revenue deficiencies next year compared to this year, so I don’t think it’s a hard sell for the cause of tens of millions of additional revenues.”

Whether or not New York State legalizes online sports betting, bettors will always be a short ride away from New Jersey. Bill S17D is New York’s latest hope for mobile sports betting and a potential explosion of the sports betting market.

About the Author

Erich Richter

A New York based freelance writer and gambling expert specializing in the sports industry. Written on numerous platforms with SEO certifications and a diehard Mets, Giants and Knicks fan (it’s been tough). Interests include keeping up to date on the newest features and technologies from sportsbooks since beta testing several of the legal gaming companies upon their inception.

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