New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr has issued a statement on the future of mobile sports betting in the state, expressing hopes that sports fans will be able to place their first mobile wagers in time for Super Bowl 2022.
Addabbo Jr noted in his missive that with one of the most complicated and important state budgets finally completed, he was pleased to see that the legalization of mobile sports betting was included in the final language, an effort he has worked on for over two years.
New York State faces a major economic deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and has witnessed hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and educational funding flowing to the New Jersey and illegal sports betting markets
By legalizing mobile sports betting, the Senator claimed, New York is expected to bring in around $99m in fiscal year 2021-2022. That estimated figure then jumps to approximately $357m in FY 2022-2023, eventually reaching over $500m in FY 2025-2026, most of which will fund education in the state.
New York State Gaming Commission must now select two platform providers to become mobile sports wagering operators under a competitive bidding process. It may permit more than two operators if doing so is in the best interests of the state. License holders will be required to pay a one-off $25m fee to the state and licenses are renewable after 10 years.
Addabbo Jr, who also chairs the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, commented: “We were already facing a budget deficit before the COVID-19 pandemic, so we needed to find additional revenue streams for the state. There was no way we could cut our way out of the hole we found ourselves in.
“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.”
According to Addabbo, New Yorkers are already placing mobile sports bets, but 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 $837m in New Jersey on sports bets.
The 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,” he 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 is to start the creation of the mobile sports betting process and begin to accept bids from sportsbook providers this coming July.
Addabbo, who hopes to see mobile sports betting fully functional and up-and-running in New York by the next Super Bowl in 2022, concluded: “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.
“With another Super Bowl gone, New York continues to lag behind other states — even states that have just legalized sports betting — when we should be leading the way. I am hopeful that with the passage of legalized mobile sports betting, New York will soon begin to reap the benefits in terms of revenue, educational funding, addiction programs and jobs. For many, it is an exciting time to be a sports fan in New York.”