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New York finally legalized sports betting in 2019, albeit limited. Only commercial casino (and tribal casinos through compacts) can offer legal sports betting. To make matters worse, there is no mobile in New York and it appears to be years away from becoming a reality since Governor Andrew Cuomo insists that a constitutional amendment would be needed.
What Sports Betting Will Look Like in NY in 2019
New York did make an important first step by at least legalizing sports betting in the state. FanDuel Sportsbook opened at Tiago Downs and a mobile app is ready to go. However, the lack of mobile is both a blow to residents of New York as well as the state itself. The state will be losing millions of dollars in sports betting handle each month to neighboring states. Why? Because all of the bettors in New York City will continue to travel the short distance to New Jersey instead of driving two hours (or longer) upstate to place a bet.
Why is it a blow to residents? Well, instead of being able to place bets on their phones from their homes or at bars, they instead have to travel across the Hudson River over to New Jersey to place their bets. For some people that involves driving themselves, but in New York City that could also mean taking a cab or another form of transportation. Either way, residents are having to pay money to travel back-and-forth from NY to NJ in order to place their bets.
Which Casinos Can Offer Sports Betting?
According to Lineups.com, under the current law, the state’s four commercial casinos are eligible to offer sports betting. That is the del Lago Resort & Casino, Rivers Casino & Resort, Tioga Downs Casino, and Resorts World Catskills. Each of the commercial casinos currently has ongoing construction that is related to building a sports betting lounge or area. While no exact date is currently set, the goal is for these sportsbooks to be operational before the start of the 2019 NFL season.
del Lago Resort & Casino
Del Lago Resort and Casino is located in Tyre and opened in 2017 at a cost of $440 million. The sportsbook will be more than 6,000 square feet with a seating capacity of around 200.
Rivers Casino & Resort
Rivers Casino & Resort is located in Schenectady and opened in 2017. Their new sportsbook will be a “luxury-styled” lounge with over 5,000 square feet. Seating will consist of five private booths with TV monitors, 18 VIP seats and 32 tabletops seats, all together seating 80 people. The lounge will also feature 22 86″ TVs, a 53 foot long and nine feet high video wall, 16 betting kiosks, and six betting windows.
Tioga Downs Casino
Tioga Downs is located in Nichols and originally opened in 2006, but the “new” Tioga Downs Casino opened in 2016, the first of the four commercial casinos to open (despite being the last to be granted a license to do so). A full wall of televisions as well as “plenty of betting space” is about all of the information known about their current sportsbook construction.
Resorts World Catskills
Resorts World Catskills was the last of the four commercial casinos to open up in 2018 and is located in Monticello. It is the closest of the four commercial casinos to New York City, although still two hours away. Construction is already complete on their sportsbook.
Under current compacts with the state, tribal casinos can offer any gaming that is allowed in the state’s commercial casinos, which now includes sports betting. As of now, the Oneida appears to be the only tribe making a serious movement towards opening a sportsbook in the near future.
New York Sports Betting Bills
Legal sports betting has been 10 years in the making for New York. It took quite some time, but The Empire State is at least on the legal sports betting map. They may have a long way to go to reach their full potential, but a step in the right direction is better than standing still. Here are some of the major sports betting bills over the last 10 years that have helped bring sports betting to New York, and have also tried to legalize mobile betting.
– Senator Eric Adams introduced the first sports betting bill in New York.
– The bill, S 6061, attempted to allow horse tracks and off-track betting facilities to offer legal sports betting.
– The bill stalled and never made it out of committee.
– Adams introduced a copy of his 2009 bill, this one titled S 3708.
– Assemblyman David Weprin introduced A 10464, which was similar to Adams’ bill, but included collegiate sports betting.
– Senator Tony Avella introduced a matching bill in the Senate, S 7401. None of the bills advanced.
– Adams reintroduced another sports betting bill, S 2411, which was identical to the two bills he sponsored in previous years.
– Other minor bills were introduced but none of them made it out of committee.
– Weprin and Avella reintroduced their bills from the previous session, A 3080 and S 940, which also stalled in committee.
– Weprin and Avella introduced sports betting bills (A 5438 and S 1282) that would include horse tracks, commercial casinos, and off-track betting facilities.
– Senator John Bonacic and Assemblyman Pretlow introduced bills that included mobile and online sports betting, as well as an “integrity fee”.
– Senator Joseph Addabbo introduced S 17, similar to Bonacic’s bill, that also included an integrity fee. The bill would have also allowed for mobile sports betting.
Hope For Mobile in NY?
Mobile sports betting in New York is a very murky situation right now. Cuomo believes in the need for a constitutional amendment while people like Addabbo Jr. think Cuomo is just making excuses. Regardless, until this constitutional amendment situation gets dealt with, mobile won’t be happening anytime soon in New York. If it turns out the state does need a constitutional amendment, then that could mean a wait of another three years before New York residents can legally bet on their phones. The good news is that Pretlow and Addabbo Jr. have said that they will keep pressing the issue with Cuomo and the state of New York. So for New York bettors, at least you have someone fighting to get you legal mobile betting.