ny online sports betting
(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

NY online sports betting is inevitable. Here is what New Yorkers can expect when lawmakers eventually pass sports betting legislation.

One year ago, the future of NY online sports betting was a complete mystery.

Believe it or not, sports betting is legal in New York. It’s the mobile portion of sports betting that is not. That means that New Yorkers are able to travel to the retail sportsbooks to place bets, but that’s only a very small piece of the pie when it comes to potential revenue that sports betting can bring into the state.

Recently, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has seemed open to the idea of legalizing online sports betting. During a coronavirus briefing, he even mentioned it as a way to help inject revenue back into the state’s coffers.

“Are there other ways to get revenue? How about marijuana? How about sports betting?” Cuomo said.

A dispute over constitutionality is the reason for the prohibition of online sports betting, but Cuomo’s recent comments seem to indicate that he’s willing to allow lawmakers to pass meaningful sports betting legislation. Here’s everything you need to know about that process.

When Will NY Online Sports Betting Go Live?

First things first, let’s look at the most optimistic timeline. If NY lawmakers can push sports betting through in this week’s revenue bill, it could be signed into law by the end of the month.

Of course, that does not mean that New Yorkers would be able to download DraftKings Sportsbook and immediately start placing bets. It takes time to craft the rules and regulations that will govern NY online sports betting. NY State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. has speculated in the past that the Super Bowl or March Madness could be optimistic launch dates.

“It takes time to set up the regulations correctly, the equipment, the programming, getting everything all setup,” Sen. Addabbo told Elite Sports NY back in August. “You hope that if you do it now, maybe by the time the Super Bowl or March Madness comes, you’re ready.”

However, if lawmakers do not push through online sports betting legislation in the December revenue bill, the next opportunity would be the 2021 revenue package. The fiscal year ends in March and Governor Cuomo’s recent remarks seem to indicate that he won’t stand in the way of mobile sports betting.

By March, NY lawmakers will know more about the federal stimulus and coronavirus relief package coming to the state. They will have a much better idea of how much revenue they need to recover and whether or not online sports betting can make up the difference.

In this scenario, the likely launch date for mobile sports betting would be closer to the start of the 2021 NFL season. The NFL is king when it comes to sports betting and it will be the biggest revenue driver when New York finally joins the party.

How Many NY Online Sportsbooks Will There Be?

When mobile sports betting comes to New York, it’s likely going to be a “single-skin” state. This means that each retail sportsbook will be able to link up with a single online operator. In other states like New Jersey, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks have multiple skins and therefore, there are more online sportsbooks for users to choose from.

Under a single-skin system, there would be five online sportsbooks for New Yorkers:

  • Tioga Downs – FanDuel Sportsbook
  • del Lago – DraftKings Sportsbook
  • Resorts World Catskills – Bet365
  • Mohawk – FOX Bet
  • Oneida – Caesars Entertainment/William Hill

When it comes to skins, the more options, the better. Single-skin is seen as a “starting point” for the Empire State, but the money is in multiple skins. This gives more options to New Yorkers and will in turn result in more revenue for the state.

How Can You Sign Up For NY Online Sports Betting?

This is a big question that we don’t know the answer to yet. There are two main ways that states require users to register with online sportsbooks. The first (and easiest) is through remote registration.

In short, remote registration means that anyone who is of legal gambling age can download a sportsbook app and immediately begin playing. This is the easiest and safest way to get players to sign up for mobile sports betting.

The second (and toughest) method for signing up is through in-person registration. Several states require in-person registration and it is a major barrier to entry for most users.

If NY were to adopt in-person registration, users from all over the state would be forced to drive to the upstate casinos and register at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in order to place mobile bets. In smaller states, this does not present a major issue, but in a state as expansive as New York, this could potentially shut out the vast majority of players.

Illinois did this for a while, but Governor J.B. Pritzker suspended in-person registration due to COVID-19.

In-person vs. remote registration is a major decision for New Yorkers to follow.

What Can You Bet On In NY?

When NY online sports betting goes live, expect to see everything from spreads and moneylines to parlays and teasers. DraftKings, FanDuel, and the other sportsbooks in line to open up in New York feature a wide range of games from all major US sports. Here is a list of sports we expect New Yorkers to be able to bet on after the launch of NY online sports betting:

  • Auto Racing
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (Pro and College)
  • Bowling
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Football (Pro and College)
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • Olympics
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Soccer (EPL, Champions League, and more)
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • and more!

We don’t expect to see any restrictions on professional sports, but it is possible that New York will implement rules that regulate college sports betting more strictly. New Jersey and Illinois are two states that have restrictions on betting on in-state colleges. However, other states like Tennessee allow for bettors to place wagers on in-state colleges.

It’s unclear if New York will follow the New Jersey or Tennessee model. The New Jersey model would mean that New Yorkers would not be able to bet on Syracuse football or St. John’s basketball.

What To Look For Next?

For the time being, NY online sports betting is still up in the air. We don’t have any definitive answers on when it will launch, but if it will launch is no longer a question.

Governor Cuomo’s recent comments, the need for an injection of tax revenue, and the overall will of the people have made it so mobile sports betting is inevitable in New York. It’s only a matter of time before you will be able to log into a sportsbook on your phone and place bets.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.