New York’s move into legal online sports betting has been put on hold. New projections as to when it might launch have been pushed back to 2022.
This new development stems from the New York Gaming Commission’s failure to meet a crucial deadline on a vote. Unless state legislators decide to hold a special session on the matter, the delay will carry over into next year.
The issue at hand is the nature of mobile sports betting itself. Some lawmakers want the state to have control while others are looking to take a more commercial approach to the mobile betting industry.
The Gaming Commission had until July 1 to release solicitation requests for online sports betting operators. That deadline came and went with no further action. This puts the future of legal online sports betting in New York on hold for now.
State Gov. Andrew Cuomo put a strong push on the measure by including mobile sports betting revenue in the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget. That budget was passed into law in April. It was projected that legal mobile sports betting would be able to launch prior to the NFL’s annual Super Bowl in early February of 2022.
New York Senator Joseph Addabbo is chairman of the state’s Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. He released the following statement in light of the delay:
“The fact that our state couldn’t meet its initial mobile sports betting deadline to take a positive step towards recognizing additional educational and anti-addiction funding is disappointing. I remain confident that in the end, New York will have a premier, top-shelf mobile sports betting product to offer its residents and effectively compete in the market.”
Given the divide that still exists between state lawmakers on the particulars surrounding this issue, the likelihood of a special session to move things forward is low.
Gov. Cuomo has come out in favor of a state-run system similar to Washington DC. Mobile sports betting would be operated through a state lottery betting app. Major issues in DC with this system have prompted many New York lawmakers to call for commercial operators.
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Many of these same lawmakers point to the tremendous success of mobile sports betting in New Jersey. This neighboring state is currently the biggest market for sports betting in the US in terms of total monthly betting volume.
Legal sports betting in New York does exist. However, it is limited to retail sportsbooks in upstate land-based casinos. The upside potential of adding legal mobile betting statewide remains extremely high.
It has been estimated that as much as 20% of New Jersey’s monthly handle can be attributed to New York bettors crossing state lines.
Due to this recent setback, New Jersey is in line to cross the $1 billion-dollar threshold in its monthly sports betting handle once the new football season starts in September. The Garden State came very close to that mark in December of 2020 and in January of this year.
It appears that New York will have to wait until some time in 2022 to make its mark in the legal US sports betting market.