With a population of almost 20 million potentially being able to bet legally in New York, the state is in the midst of a scramble to organize, legislate and approve betting bills.
It was the Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision to overturn the 1992 ‘prohibition against sports gambling act’ which paved the way for Delaware and New Jersey to legalize fixed-odds sports betting in their states just a month later. And New York sports betting would like to be the fourth US state to offer legal sports wagering, joining them and Nevada which has always been allowed to take sports bets.
With neighbouring state New Jersey and nearby Delaware accepting bets within their casino and racinos (racetracks which also feature a casino), New York officials are keen to not be left behind. And in 2013 they did lay down a lot of groundwork to allow people to bet legally in New York State in the event the ‘prohibition against sports gambling act’ would be repealed.
State legislators moved to enact a New York sports betting law that would have allowed it’s four upstate casinos to take sports bets as soon as the federal law was overturned. But that law is in need of an upgrade if New York is to compete with its neighbours. Notably, it does not authorize online gambling in the state and it contains very few anti-corruption protections.
With a potential $1.2 billion in annual sports betting revenues to be earned, the state is keen to get a new bill drafted and passed as soon as possible. In addition to financial losses, Native American gaming, which operates outside of New York State law, have announced their intention to commence with sports betting within their casinos in the short-term future.
Once the go-ahead is given it is inevitable New York’s two thoroughbred racecourses – Belmont Park and Aqueduct – will be given the all clear to accept sports bets. Likewise its racinos including The Fairgrounds, Saratoga, Yonkers and Monticello. Then, of course, there are the casinos headed by Del Largo, Tioga Downs, Rivers Casino and numerous others.
But the jewel in the crown for betting legally in New York is mobile and online wagering. This is where the bulk of the state’s turnover will happen and where the majority of income for the state will ultimately come from.
When it comes to handing out licenses the established New York sports betting operators will be at the front of the queue but, in turn, they will seek betting partners.
In fact, Paddy Power Betfair has already announced a long-term partnership with Tioga Downs. Meanwhile, U.S. press has reported several New York racinos as “being in talks with British firms William Hill and Ladbrokes”.
With the New York State legislative session of 2018 coming to a close on June 20th it is unlikely legal sports betting sites in New York will be up and running before the winter of 2018 at the very earliest.
Indian reservation casinos considered an independent state within a state, will probably have their own in-house sportsbooks up and running before that. But such is the size and population of New York – along with the estimated number of illegal bets which are currently estimated to be placed from there – online sports betting sites in New York are where most of the betting action will be.