Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., one of the leading proponents for New York online sports betting, said the state is on pace to take its first bet during the NFL playoffs and be fully operational by the Super Bowl in February 2022.
Earlier in the week, the New York Gaming Commission approved the final sports betting rules for the state. The document will be published in the state register on Nov. 24. Theoretically, any of the nine approved sports betting operators can offer online sports betting on this date, but with so many more regulatory hurdles to clear it’s will likely be months before a bet is taken.
“We are still expecting that first bet to be in the NFL playoffs, and then of course to be fully up and running by the Super Bowl. We’re still on par for that,” Addabbo Jr. told Elite Sports New York.
Operators Can Launch on Own Schedule
According to the New York Gaming Commission, the nine operators can launch on their own schedule. However, each operator must choose one of four brick-and-mortar commercial casinos to house their servers and have the location approved by the commission.
The server rooms must be constructed and meet the final requirements, betting software needs to be tested and approved by an independent testing laboratory, and operators must satisfy all statutory and regulatory obligations before launching.
It will be a matter of months, not weeks, before a bet is taken in the state.
“We have the right pieces of the puzzle, now we just have to put them in place,” Addabbo Jr. said.
When online sports betting launches, New York will have a competitive product to compete with New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the illegal markets. It’s not impossible for New York to surpass New Jersey in terms of total handle at some point in the near future, the Senator noted.
New York Can Compete with New Jersey
Nearly 25% of New Jersey handle is due to New Yorkers travelling over the border every month to place their own bets. In September, the Garden State reported over $1 billion in total handle, a point of irritation for Addabbo Jr..
“It gave me agita. The aggravation I get when I see things like that, because I know 25% of that money is ours. I do give a lot of credit to Gov. Murphy, though. He has taken mobile sports betting and he’s really ran with it,” he said.
Addabbo is looking to the 2023 fiscal year budget to continue strengthening New York’s online sports betting program. Other than activating the three downstate casino licenses, online horse racing betting and online poker are two high priorities moving into the budget season.
Helping the horse racing industry and bringing in as much revenue as possible to when the state is still feeling the negative effects of COVID-19 is a no-brainer.
“If someone on one of our apps can bet on the Nets, Knicks, Rangers, whatever team they want, and also horse racing at Saratoga, it will give the New York consumer a better product. I think integrating horse racing into mobile betting will be a very high priority for me,” he said.