Online sports betting is getting a big push in New York and there’s a possibility that it could launch by the Super Bowl or March Madness.
Sports betting is already legal in New York. Through a loophole in the original bill to legalize sports betting, the online component was not included. But make no mistake, online sports betting is coming to New York sooner or later.
Let’s focus on the “sooner” part because following some recent developments, there’s a chance that online sportsbooks arrive faster than previously expected. According to reports, Speaker Carl Heastie will include online and mobile betting in an upcoming revenue bill. This means that online sports betting could become legal in New York in 2020.
As recently as July, Speaker Heastie and Governor Andrew Cuomo were pushing for a constitutional amendment that could have delayed the launch until 2024.
For all intents and purposes, New Yorkers would not be able to download an app and start placing bets as soon as the bill is signed, but the process for getting to that point would be in motion.
New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo sees one possible timeline where users would be able to place online bets by the Super Bowl.
“It takes time to set up the regulations correctly, the equipment, the programming, getting everything all set up,” Sen. Addabbo told Elite Sports NY. “You hope that if you do it now, maybe by the time the Super Bowl or March Madness comes, you’re ready.”
This is just one possible timeline—albeit an optimistic one—for full-scale launch in New York. Expediting the process to launch in time for major gambling events like the Super Bowl and March Madness would go a long way towards adding some tax revenue back into the state’s coffers.
Of course, it’s important to remember that things can change in a New York minute and until this bill is signed until law, “It ain’t over til it’s over.”
New York Will Likely Open As Single-Skin State
If New York lawmakers can push online sports betting across the finish line—and that’s a big if—what will it look like for users? New Jersey is seen as one of the best models for online sports betting in the country. New York’s plan differs slightly from what’s going on in New Jersey.
The current proposed bill calls for New York to be a single-skin state which means that the four in-state operators are allowed to partner with only one mobile sports wagering platform.
In New Jersey, operators have three skins, meaning they can partner with up to three platforms. More casinos, more platforms– that’s why there are so many online sportsbooks in New Jersey.
If mobile sports betting goes live in New York with the proposed bill, users will have four choices: DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetRivers, and Bet365.
Insiders believe lobbying efforts by DraftKings and FanDuel, in particular, have allowed the single-skin provision to persist.
Moreover, this system limits the potential tax revenue that the state can bring in through mobile sports betting given the large licensing fees and ongoing tax revenue of having many operators.
“In an environment where schools, teachers, other essential services, etc. need cash desperately to run, DraftKings, Rivers Casino, and FanDuel are pushing for a model that leaves over $100m to the state on the table in year one, and $50m+ every year thereafter,” one industry insider told Elite Sports NY. “They do not have the best interests of New York, either the state or consumer, in mind.”
Pushing online sports betting across the goal line is the top priority right now, but molding the system to provide the best system for bettors and all New Yorkers must be the overall goal.