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New York sports betting bill faces questions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ready to bring legal sports betting to New York. Under the bill, New Yorkers will soon have a chance to bet on sports through their mobile devices. They can bet on all major leagues in the US and around the world.

But they will have to make some compromises if the bill becomes a law. For starters, Cuomo wants the lottery to run the industry. This could pose a challenge as there will be no competition. With no competition, will sports betting succeed in NY? Discover below as we look into some of the questions many experts are asking in regards to the governor’s proposal.

A Monopoly or Commercial Sportsbooks?

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Gov Cuomo claimed he planned to license land-based casinos in New York so that they could also provide online sports betting. A week later, he changed the narrative, saying he was in favor of the NY lottery running the show.

You can view a list of all the major sportsbooks and racetracks that could qualify for a mobile betting license on New York sports betting guides like Many of them are located close to hotel rooms because they were designed for in-person betting.

Time will tell what lies in the future for these racetracks, though. If they acquire new betting licenses, they will have to expand to provide more betting markets. At the same time, some companies could pivot to mobile betting.

What will Cuomo’s Bill mean for New Yorkers?

As mentioned, Gov Cuomo wants sports betting to be legal in New York. Precisely, he wants punters to bet the modern way—through mobile devices and computers at their convenience. Of course, this will be a major step forward into the lives for New York-based gamblers.

Sports betting has often been restricted to tribal casinos and sportsbooks that offer pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. With Cuomo’s bill, nearly all forms of sports betting will become legal, from the NFL and NBA to college sports and eSports.

New York could decide to ban betting on NY-based college and high school games. But it could allow most other sports. It will take time to discover whether the Empire State will permit predictions on non-sports events—Vegas prohibits betting on events whose outcome is already known.

How Much will be the Licensing Fees?

In Cuomo’s latest betting bill, something important is missing—the cost of acquiring a betting license. It’s probably because the governor wants the lottery to run the industry. Or maybe Cuomo wants legislators to draft the fees and charges for new sportsbooks.

All the same, New York will want to draft sports betting in a way that keeps NY bettors in the Big Apple. In 2019, New Yorkers contributed 20% of New Jersey’s $4.5 billion sports betting handle—approximately $837 million.

New Jersey charges sportsbooks $100,000 to acquire a license. On top of that, they must pay 8.5% of the gross annual revenues as tax if they operate through brick and mortar establishments and 13% for mobile betting companies.

To be clear, New Jersey has one of the lowest sports betting license fees in the country. Pennsylvania, by comparison, charges $10m initially and 34% of annual revenues as tax. Considering most New Yorkers run to NJ when they want to bet, NY might want to draft a bill that’s better than NJ’s.

Will Legislators pass Cuomo’s bill?

Although Gov. Cuomo made the proposal, he will require the support of legislators to pass the bill. In the past, this has proved difficult. Senator Joe Addabbo has made several proposals to legalize sports betting in the Empire State.

But every time he tables a bill, something happens and it’s thrown out. New York’s speaker is allegedly not fond of betting bills either. On the flip side, there’s the issue of tribes—NY tribes could oppose the bill on the grounds that they have an exclusivity to offer gambling.

That said, the ultimate powers on matters regarding New York rest in the arms of Cuomo. He can always veto the house assembly’s decision. And in doing so, legalize sports betting no matter who’s against it.

Will legalizing sports betting kill the black market?

One of New York’s biggest problem is the sports betting black market. It generates tens of millions of dollars every year. Passing a bill to legitimize the industry will take away customers from the black market and even maybe put an end to it.

However, that’s easier said than done given the nature of Cuomo’s bill. If he monopolizes the industry, it means NY-based punters will have to work with poor betting odds. They might also not get free bets, reliable customer service or a wide range of betting opportunities.

The solution—they will continue to patronize black market betting providers. You see, offshore bookmakers operate in a competitive environment. And as a result, they strive to provide quality betting services, from odds and bonuses to customer support and security.

How Much Revenue Will Sports Betting Generate?

According to experts, New York could easily become the crown jewel of US sports betting. It’s one of the most populated states in the country and has a population with a decent per capita income ($39,326). For comparison, New Jersey has a per capita income of $42,745 but has roughly 10 million people fewer people than the Empire State.

Countrywide, New York is about to become the most popular state with legal mobile betting. Florida, Texas and California, all more populated, oppose mobile betting and have no plans to legalize the industry.

In light of that information, time will tell whether New York can better the revenue NJ generates from mobile betting. As mentioned, one reason why the Garden State is so successful is that it attracts a lot of punters from New York.

All the same, New York can expect in excess of $1 billion in the first year of permitting online sports betting. And if it commercializes the industry, it could overtake NJ to become the country’s top destination for mobile sports gamblers.

Categories: SportsGambling