New York Frustrated at Sports Betting Progress

While New York State struggles to gain ground in the gambling industry, neighbor New Jersey is flourishing. Officials of New York are frustrated with the progress of their gambling industry and are tired of watching their neighbor make off with millions in revenues from New York residents. During a recent gambling expansion roadshow, two officials from New York discussed what they would like to see going forward when it comes to sports betting and casino gaming.

Will 2020 Be The Year?

During the Sports Betting USA conference, gambling supporter Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. told the audience that he is hoping next year will be the year for the state to progress. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow echo’s his statement.

The state is focused on several areas of expansion, including mobile sports betting and casino gaming. The state has yet to launch mobile sports betting and they must sit and watch as New Jersey rakes in tens of millions every month from the industry. Players from New York can easily cross state lines to take part in the mobile wagering options in the Garden State.

Along with mobile sports betting, Pretlow and Addabbo Jr. are focusing on the casino industry. Operators want to push forward with expansion projects, offering full casino gaming within their existing operations.  According to Pretlow, Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway officials have stated they will pay the huge $500m fee to turn their racino properties into casinos.

Unfortunately, that can’t happen based on state law. Right now, such as change is ineligible until 2023. At that point, three more casino licenses can be issued in the New York City region.  The date was put in place to allow the first four license holders to become established before offering more gaming.

The goal was to get the upstate casinos operational first and then move forward. However, the state now has three licenses that are bringing in zero revenues and not providing any jobs in the state. Addabbo is hoping that legislators will start to discuss and possibly hold a hearing as to what can happen with the other three licenses. Perhaps the licenses can be given out in 2020 or even 2021 to speed the process along and help the state.

If the bill can move forward and allow for quicker licensing, then other tracks can start to offer sports betting, which would bring in more money for the state as well.

Governor Issues

The mobile sports betting component issue revolves around Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor feels that an amendment must be made to the state constitution in order to allow mobile wagering. However, an amendment was not needed a few years ago when the horse race betting industry made the same changes.

Unless the governor gets on board, or an amendment changes is made, mobile sports betting will not launch. For the state to truly succeed in sports betting, the mobile component is needed. Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania see over 80% of their sports bets placed online. Revenues would be much higher in New York if mobile was an option.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.