New York sports betting is legal and launched, but the state has fallen well short of expectations for the industry. Sports betting in New York is limited to just retail at this time, but that could change by the end of 2021.
Currently, there is no New York online sports betting option, and that has kept the handle and revenue numbers down as states throughout the US have seen tremendous growth. Now that NY is facing a budget deficit, there is more pressure on the state to offer online sports betting.
Another issue is that all of the retail sports betting options are hours away from New York City, and most sports bettors are not willing to travel that far. Instead, these bettors are heading across the border to New Jersey, where online betting is available.
Allowing NY online sports betting will provide a huge boost to the state, but there is still work to be done before that takes place.
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New York Sportsbooks
As of January 2021, retail sportsbooks are the only option in the state of New York. All online sports betting is illegal, but there has been plenty of support to get the rules changed in the state.
There are currently eight retail sportsbooks in New York, and these are offered at commercial and tribal casinos in the state. New York City is not home to any retail sports betting options, and that has hurt the market in terms of growth.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs and DraftKings Sportsbook at del Lago Resort Casino are two of the most popular retail sportsbooks in the state. Rivers Casino and Resorts World Catskills are the two other commercial casinos in New York that offer sports betting.
These commercial casinos would likely be able to offer NY online sports betting if that form of wagering becomes legal. It’s unclear how many other online sports betting licenses would be available.
In order to place a bet in New York, bettors must travel to one of these retail sportsbooks and create a sports betting account. Customers are not limited to just one account and are free to bet at any of the licensed retail sportsbooks.
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NY Sports Betting Rules
New York sports betting rules are pretty clear, and there are just two major restrictions. Sportsbooks do have plenty of freedom when choosing available betting markets, with all of the top professional sports in the US being offered.
There are also international betting markets available in NY sports betting, but these options vary by sportsbook. Each sportsbook will choose what sports or leagues to feature, but there is a long list available to them.
The two major restrictions in New York are:
- Betting on NY College Teams or Events in the state are illegal
- Betting is limited to sporting events.
Several states in the US have limitations when it comes to collegiate sporting events, and NY is no different. This does hurt the betting market as NY has some popular college sports teams.
Betting on esports is also illegal in New York as it is not deemed a sporting event. This restriction also applies to betting on awards shows such as the Grammys or ESPYs.
NY Sports Betting Regulations
NY sports betting actually dates all the way back to 2013 when voters in the state passed a referendum to expand gambling in the state. Sports betting was included in that referendum, but the state has to wait for the federal ban on sports betting to be lifted.
The New York State Gaming Commission approved sports betting rules and regulations in January 2019 even though legislation was not signed. There were some attempts during that year to allow for online sports betting as well, but those bills died out quickly.
Bill S 17 was sponsored by Senator Joseph Addabbo, and it aimed to include online sports betting when the industry launched. That bill was able to pass through the Senate, but a formal vote was never granted.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was also an opponent of NY online sports betting, claiming that a constitutional amendment was needed to add that form of betting. Cuomo has since changed his stance, and as of 2021, is in full support of any new bills adding that to the current regulations.
It has been Addabbo that has already started the process of introducing legislation to legalize online sports betting this year, with a pair of pre-filed bills. Bills S1183 and A2157 were jointly filed, and they could do exactly what the governor is hoping for.
There is still plenty of work to be done, and these bills will be discussed and dissected over the next couple of months.
The lack of online sports betting options in New York has hurt the market in terms of growth and potential. Online sports betting would immediately provide a boost to the state, and sports betting operators would be lining up for market access.
New York is loaded with professional sports teams that would help drive the industry, and the state would start taking business back from neighboring New Jersey. There are some big-name operators already in the state, and it would not take much effort to transition to online betting.
As lawmakers and Governor Cuomo pursue online sports betting in 2021, this will be something to keep an eye on. New York could eventually become the biggest sports betting market in the country, but NY is falling way behind at this time.