Mobile Sports Betting Could Make Sense Now in New York

Around this time two years ago, the United States Supreme Court made the ruling to legalize sports betting within the country; the final decision was left up to the individual states. Currently, there are 42 states that either have sports betting or have plans to discuss legalization plans within the next year or two.

One of the states that missed out on significant growth potential is none other than New York – which is by far the state hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak. There is a great need for medical supplies, food, water, and other various items by the residents like no other time before.

Over the weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed racetracks within the state to begin racing on June 1. While the racetracks are close to opening up, sports betting is only legal at a handful of upstate casinos. Still missing from the offering, though, is mobile sports betting, which could bring in a nice haul for the state – especially a time when it is needed the most.

“We do not, as a state, have the luxury of declining revenue at this point,” said New York State Sen. Joe Addabbo. “We have a severe budget deficit. Even prior to the coronavirus, we had it, so now there’s a need for revenue.”

Addabbo has always been a huge supporter of bringing mobile sports betting to The Empire State. And it comes with good reason. The senator truly believes that New York could wind up bringing in $200 million per year.

“In the past, when Governor Cuomo wants something, we get it done,” Addabbo said. “I’m only hoping to work with him and his administration and convince him and his administration that this is an issue to work on, that we can do this.”

Keeping Up

Part of the reason Addabbo has high hopes for New York is the fact that neighboring states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania are doing so well. In fact, the whole world can take a page from The Garden State’s playbook when it comes to mobile betting.

New Jersey collected about $273.5 million in total revenue on a $4.5 betting handle in 2019, with 84 percent of those bets being made on mobile devices. In comparison, New York only had a revenue of about $9.6 million in six months of 2019 since opening in July.

It is quite disappointing to see New York still letting this opportunity go by the wayside. Gov. Cuomo has been vehemently against mobile sports betting all this time, but it appears like trying to take money from a portion of people that lost their jobs could be an ethical issue as well. Especially for those that truly have an addiction.

“I think we all share the concern for those who have an addiction,” Addabbo said. “Right now, New Yorkers are going to Jersey to do mobile sports betting. They are doing it illegally.

“We can’t help them because we don’t know who they are. So there are a number of issues that we address in our bill. That’s why I had this ‘Plan, Pass and Prepare’ strategy for this year to try and get mobile sports betting done this year.”

At a time when New York could use any means of additional money for its city and residents, sports betting would certainly be a huge help in getting some aspects of life back to normal. It appears like we’re closer to getting our lives back to normal, so perhaps mobile sports betting is around the corner as well.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.