Empire State Launches Online Sports Betting Saturday

One of the biggest sports betting markets is going live in less than 24 hours. The New York State Gaming Commission has approved four sportsbooks to launch online operations tomorrow. The four approved sports betting operations are FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbooks, DraftKings, and Rush Street Interactive. There are already several highly rated online casinos in New York, but these will be the first legal online sportsbooks in the state.

The Empire State has approved a total of nine sports betting vendors to eventual operate in the state. However, the first four were chosen based on their existing relationships with casinos in New York. By starting tomorrow, the sites will be and running just in time for the NFL playoffs.

“We are excited to finally be able to offer millions of passionate New York sports fans the top-rated DraftKings mobile and online Sportsbook.” – CEO, Co-founder, and Chairman of DraftKings Jason Robins on the upcoming launch in New York.

Operators will also be able to offer mobile betting options to consumers. Having mobile options will help the new sportsbook operations reach customers across the state. It will also allow bettors to place wagers from the palms of their hands. Currently, players have to travel to one of New York’s upstate casinos to place their bets.

Approved sportsbooks can begin accepting bets at 9:00 AM eastern. That allows bettors to have a practice run in the final week of the NFL season before the playoffs start next week. Some of the approved operators, such as Caesars Sportsbook, have already started advertising to New York residents.

New York Stands to Profit from Online Sports Betting

New Yorkers have been able to place bets on sports since 2019, but only at in-person sportsbooks. The ban on online and mobile options meant that citizens either had to travel to one of the casinos in upper New York or go out of state.

For many bettors, the latter option was more accessible. Neighboring New Jersey has become the biggest market for sports betting in the US. The Garden State has even passed Nevada with over $10 billion in paced wagers. According to experts in the industry, between 25% to 30% of wagers in New Jersey were placed by New Yorkers.

The revenue from those bettors will, hopefully, jumpstart the New York sports betting industry. So far, in-person sports betting at New York casinos have only generated $3.7 million in tax revenue. Officials are hoping that online and mobile sports betting will be the boost they need. Early estimates for total bets place are in the $10 billion range.

Those numbers would allow New York to compete with other sports betting giants. Estimates for tax revenue generated are set at $500 million. The state earns a 51% share of earnings in taxes, so sportsbooks would need to generate $1 billion per year to hit that estimate. The sportsbooks themselves will also be hoping for a quick start. Licensees have already paid a total of $200 million for their licenses.

Benefits for New York Residents

The new sports betting laws will also provide a number of benefits for New Yorkers. First and foremost, it will allow more bettors to access sports betting. Sportsbooks have quickly built themselves into one of the biggest industries in the US. Now, more citizens of New York will be able to join in on the action.

On top of being able to bet on their favorite sports, New Yorkers will receive other benefits from the bill. The bill that approved sports betting also included a number of provisions to benefit the community. For instance, $6 million per year will go toward funding gambling addiction programs. Also, another $5 million each year will go toward creating and funding youth sports programs.

Tax revenue generated from sports betting will also help the state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. New York’s education budget has already been identified as one area to receive extra funds. The new industry will also create new jobs for New Yorkers.

The Struggle to Change New York State Gambling Laws

The decision by the New York Gaming Commission to allow online and mobile sports betting is a big step for the Empire State. New York has struggled to compete with neighboring states in the industry. The new regulations will allow New York to tap into one of the biggest sports betting markets in the US.

New York legislators have been trying for years to legalize sports betting. State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. has been at the forefront of the movement. Recently, the state has also been in talks about allowing qualified stadiums to host gambling terminals. Gambling at horse tracks has also been a topic of discussion as of late. Through it all, Sen. Addabbo has been fighting for the rights of New Yorkers to gamble responsibly.

The Empire State may have been slower than other states to open the gates for sports betting but should not lag behind too much longer. New York state has a large population and a collection of fierce fanbases across many professional and collegiate sports. Now, the state’s more gaming-friendly laws will allow more citizens to join in.  The revenue share between sportsbooks and the state should make so everyone benefits when the bets start coming in.

Conclusion

Starting tomorrow at 9 AM eastern, New York is set to become one of the biggest states to allow online and mobile sports betting platforms. The New York State Gaming Commission has approved four of its licensed sports betting operators to launch online sportsbooks. They will also be allowed to operate mobile betting options. The timing of the launch will allow bettors to take advantage of the upcoming NFL playoffs.

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There are many reasons for New York to begin allowing online sports betting. For one, many residents are already engaging in the practice. However, New York is not seeing any of the revenue as citizens have to travel to other states to place their online bets. The new regulations will also provide a major boost to the state’s tax revenue from sportsbooks. In turn, New York will be able to fund new programs, such as those for youth sports.

Allowing online and mobile betting options is a huge step for the Empire State. Despite the progress, there are still plenty of gambling issues on the table. Legislators are currently discussing a bill that would allow qualified stadiums to host gaming terminals. There have also been discussions regarding the types of bets allowed at the state’s racetracks. Resolutions for all of the gambling issues will take legislators time to address. In the meantime, proponents of sports betting can sit back and enjoy the win.