new york online sports betting

Robert Linnehan

New York online sports betting is in an odd situation, Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-15), told ESNY.

Usually a policy leader in the country, New York finds itself playing catchup to neighboring sports betting juggernaut New Jersey, which sits atop the sports betting handle and revenue leaderboard nearly every single month and has had more than a 3-year head start over the Empire State.

New York Online Sports Betting Can Be An Industry Leader

As New York’s online sports betting program still awaits its predicted late 2021 launch, with full capacity hoped for by the 2022 Super Bowl, what chance does it have to overtake New Jersey?

Addabbo believes it’s more than likely New York finds itself the leader in sports betting at some point in the future.

“Just by the sheer numbers, I think whether it’s tourism or population, I do think that New York stands to be a major leader and will eclipse New Jersey in some point, in my opinion,” Addabbo told ESNY.

Competition in the industry is steep. Outside of the obvious in New Jersey, Addabbo pointed to Pennsylvania’s sports betting program and Connecticut’s soon-to-be launched product as potential pieces that could limit New York’s success.

With a multitude of sports betting offerings immediately available over New York’s border, how does the state attract and retain sports betting dollars for its own program?

In order to be successful, Addabbo told ESNY the state is asking New Yorkers to do two things.

“We have two major asks. I call it the switch and stay. We’re asking New Yorkers to switch what they’ve been doing for the last two years. They’ve been going to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, doing it illegally online, maybe using an offshore account. They have a comfort zone. Study after study shows that New Yorkers are going over to Jersey with a mobile device to place bets. We’re asking people to switch what they’re doing, stop what they’re doing and try New York’s product. The second ask is to stay with us,” Addabbo told ESNY.

New York Online Sports Betting Must Be a Premier Product

Addabbo understands what a tough ask this is. New Yorkers are savvy, he said, and the moment New York’s online sports betting program is viewed as anything but a “premier, top shelf, ready to go product, in a millisecond New Yorkers will go back to what they were previously doing.”

The New York Gaming Commission is doing its job to ensure the best product is available for New York sports betting, Addabbo said, and to bring in the best partners for the state. He supported their efforts so far and was enthusiastic with their progress.

As with anything this big, there will be hiccups, there will be moments that need to be worked out, he said. But the timeline remains the same, as Addabbo once again expressed optimism that the first sports bet in the state would be placed in late 2021.

“It’s not a question of if, but when. I still think with a little initiative, and some enthusiasm, we can still have a mobile sports bet placed in New York by the end of the year and certainly up and running in full swing by the Super Bowl.”

All bid packages for sports betting licenses will submitted to the gaming commission by Aug. 9. Licenses will be awarded to platform providers in early December.