Will New York follow New Jersey and legalize gambling?

2018 was a big year for gamblers in New Jersey as online sports betting was legalized in the state. It was one of the loudest voices when it came to campaigning for the legalization of gambling in the United States outside of Nevada. Therefore, it came as little surprise when they acted to allow people residing inside the State of New Jersey to place sports bets online and enjoy poker games.

New Jersey is also one of only three states in the US to offer legal online casino gambling. Each of the online casinos in New Jersey has an Atlantic City casino partner and it has quickly become the go-to state in terms of online gambling.

While New Jersey have been quick to act in terms of legalizing gambling, both on and offline, the state of New York, including New York City, have been left behind. The question is, will New York follow New Jersey and legalize gambling to stop players from simply taking trips over the border just to gamble?

At the time of writing, it appears highly unlikely that the state of New York is going to legalize online gambling in 2020 and that includes mobile betting. The state will be enforced to go another year without being able to access online sports or poker betting, which will come as a disappointment to those who are eagerly awaiting some good news.

Speaking as the budget closed in April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would not be making up the $7 billion deficit with any new revenue. Circumstances may have been a little different if it was not for the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, although it is possible to place bets at land based casinos, for both casino games and sports, it is not possible to do this online. Each of the current sportsbooks in New York operating out of land based casinos and there are no options available for those who would like to bet online or using mobile devices.

A report by CBS New York in 2019 showed that according to a new study, New York residents bet $837 million in New Jersey on sporting events last year. Therefore, the demand is clearly there and the same applies to playing online poker real money games. Unfortunately, much like online sports betting, online poker is illegal in the state of New York at the time of writing and this leads to thousands of people travelling over to the state of New Jersey to play online poker games.

In addition, it has also led to some people using offshore websites which allow players based in the United States to create accounts. Depositing and withdrawing funds using these websites is not always easy and has led some people to lose money as they have been unable to enjoy their winnings from poker games they have been playing. Changing the legislation to allow both online sports and poker betting in New York would solve a number of problems for the state, including people using offshore websites.

Clearly, if it were legal to play online poker in the state of New York, players would choose to access the legally run websites rather than choose to continue using the offshore websites which come with a risk. Also, players would choose to remain in New York rather than take their gaming and money across to New Jersey.

In terms of both online sports betting and online poker games, New York would stand to make a significant amount of money in tax were they to make them legal in the state. It can surely be only a matter of time until this happens.