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Tuesday was an historic day in the State of New York. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, D-Westchester County placed the first legal sports wager at the Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, one of the bigger casinos of upstate New York.
Just The Beginning
Assemblyman Pretlow sighted the head-start New Jersey has had as incentive for the NY state to get the ball rolling in the burgeoning industry. He has been a staunch advocate of founding and growing the industry in the state over the past several years, and aims to establish mobile sports betting in NY before the end of the year. With around 14 million cell phone users and countless avid sports fanatics in the state, adding a mobile option could make New York one of the biggest sports betting markets in the world overnight.
Several state-licensed and tribal facilities plan to roll out their own menus of sports betting options. But right now let’s focus on the occasion. New York State’s first legal bet.
Mariners to Win? A Baseball Game?
To kick off the ageless competition between bookies and bettors in his state, Pretlow wagered $20 on the Seattle Mariners moneyline at +180. It lost, and was a great testament to all the future winnings NY state casinos will wrack up in the coming years.
New Jersey has had incredible hold in its first months of sports betting operations – as the average Jersey better has proven to be a lot less sharp so far than the average Vegas or Overseas bettor.
New York politicians may be the squarest of all. The Mariners. The Mariners. Of all the possible futures, moneylines and totals to consider, picking such a Bad-News-Bears Mariners squad takes something special. Considering their hot start, combined with their shedding of assets (trading away Edwin Encarnación and Jay Bruce) the Mariners may be the worst 39-60 team in MLB history. Surely no other 39-60 team started the season on a 13-2 tear, only to drop 58 of its next 74 games.
The Mariners had more errors through the first half of the season (94) than 21 teams had ALL of last season. At their current pace the Mariners will reach 156 errors for the season. That’s would be 11 errors more than any team has recorded since at least 2000.
Their hitting and pitching has been nearly just as woeful. They have had a >6 ERA since May 1st. They are dead last in runs scored so far in July.
Take Away for Us Non-Politician Sports Bettors
Of course, bad teams provide value for sports bettors all the time. However, I think the Mariners awfulness has definitely been under-reported (as opposed to the much maligned Orioles). It’s just the kind of team a novice bets because of personal affiliation and loyalty, without regard to their current play. Whether or not any statistic or trend arrived in Pretlow’s calculations, in hindsight a ML bet on the Mariners rings like what it is – a symbolic present to the casinos. A house warming gift.
The good part of being a sports bettor is that you don’t have to have an affable relationship with business leaders, like you do when you are a politician. Considering how much he must get on the low, Assemblyman Pretlow is inclined to give some back over the counter.
Let this first bet be a testament to the fact that we don’t have to feel sorry for taking the casinos money. There will be countless herds of just-for-fun bettors lining up to give these institutions their money back.