On Saturday, I traveled across the GW Bridge and ventured into the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. I wasn’t there to see the NFL’s Giants or Jets. I wasn’t there to see live harness racing, either.
With the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament in the first rounds, I instead had the urge to put my money on No. 1 seed, Gonzaga, and bet against the 15th seed, Iona College, versus No. 2 seed, Alabama. Of course, there are no mobile sports betting options in New York, which is why this all happened in Jersey.
The hope is that by March 2022, mobile betting will be a part of March Madness in New York. Avoiding weekend traffic, the hassle of traveling across the GW, paying the hefty tolls that go along with the commute, are all benefits that pale in comparison to the option of placing a bet from the comfort of home via mobile app.
Now, I am not a compulsive gambler, but this is March Madness. Every March, I go with my hunches and play the bracket. I analyze and find a way to place a small bet on a few teams that have the potential to reach the second round of 32 teams.
gAlong with the Super Bowl, the NCAA Tournament is a bonanza at the sportsbooks, but in proximity to New York City, there are not many options.
Next Steps For New York Mobile Sports Betting
All of this could change soon, and next March could be different. The race is on because NY State lawmakers are close to finalizing a plan that would permit mobile sports betting. The plan would license more than a dozen sports wagering apps.
With the state budget approval nearing a crucial date of April 1, lawmakers are also racing the clock to get the mobile sports betting legislation finalized.
Because this is a significant source of revenue for New York, lawmakers I spoke with are anxious to see a plan finalized in the next week. Apps such as FanDuel, BetRivers, and BetMGM could become available in time for the start of the 2021 NFL season in September.
As with any type of legislation, there is resistance. Lawmakers are looking at the necessity of obtaining the revenue for New York and those against are coming from the anti-gambling establishment that believes gambling is corrupt and a form of addiction.
Inside Scoop On Congressional Vote
After reaching out to ten Assembly and Senate representatives, I was able to glean an idea of how much support the legislation might have in the state legislature. My tally was 9 yes and 1 nay.
Now, take that as an informal survey, but it leads to optimism. Governor Andrew Cuomo has also been a proponent of mobile sports betting. However, logistics have always been an issue.
I heard comments again about the positives and economic impact for New York State. Both houses of the New legislature have included mobile sports betting in their budget proposals.
“We hear stories all the time about people driving their cars across the border to New Jersey, placing their bets and coming back across, so these are New Yorkers’ dollars that are going out of state and they are going to do it anyway, we might as well realize the revenue,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.
With a state budget gap of more than $15 billion, lawmakers are looking at mobile sports betting as a way to cut that deficit.
The clock is ticking. As I stated last week, there is optimism. Perhaps in September and next March, I and others can avoid that commute across the bridge.