“We were already facing a budget deficit before the COVID-19 pandemic, so we needed to find additional revenue streams for the state,” Said State Senator Joseph Addabbo of Queens, who has worked to legalize mobile sports betting for over two years. “Legalizing mobile sports betting will bring in the funds needed by the state that will go towards funding our education system, problem gambling awareness programs and creating jobs.”
Mobile sports betting will allow people to place wagers on sporting events through their mobile phones or other internet-connected devices. Thirteen other states and Washington D.C. also have legal mobile sports betting.
Addabbo argues New Yorkers are already placing mobile sports bets, but they are either going to the illegal market or quickly traveling to neighboring states where it is legal to do so.
A study found that in 2019, New York residents wagered $837 million in New Jersey on sports bets. The state senator noted that not only was New York losing revenue to these other outlets, but individuals with gaming addiction issues were not getting the help they needed.
“When New York residents travel to other states or participate in the illegal market to place mobile sports wagers, there is no way for us to identify and help them should they have a gaming addiction,” Addabbo said. “By safely legalizing mobile sports betting, New York State can better recognize and assist those with a gambling problem, with the help of the over one-dozen safeguards and measures written into the bill’s language.”
The state Gaming Commission will start the creation of the mobile sports betting process and begin to accept bids from sportsbook providers this coming July.
New York is expected to bring in around $99 million in Fiscal Year 2021-2022. That estimated figure then jumps to approximately $357 million in FY 2022-2023, eventually reaching over $500 million in FY 2025-2026, most of which will fund education in the state.
Addabbo hopes to see mobile sports betting fully functional and up-and-running here in by the next Super Bowl, the benchmark for mobile sports betting as millions of Americans place wagers on the popular sporting event.
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Garden State residents bet $117 million on last year’s Super Bowl, an increase of 116 percent from last year’s $54 million in bets on the big game.
This year’s total brought New Jersey over $11 million in revenue. While it is not currently known exactly how many of those bets were placed online, in December 2020 bettors wagered more than 93 percent of New Jersey’s betting handle through online sites.
“While we already have in-person legal sports betting here in New York, it is clear that the states that allow for mobile wagering are far more successful,” Addabbo added. “New York continues to lag behind other states when we should be leading the way.”