NY's failure to launch a big win for NJ Sportsbooks

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New York’s loss is a gain for New Jersey and its lucrative online sports betting in. After previously saying he would consider seeking quick-fix budget repair with speedy legalization of online sports betting, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo eventually came to the conclusion last week that he wouldn’t be making up the $7 billion deficit with any new revenue as the budget closed, so it seems the Empire State will finish yet another year without online and mobile sports wagering.

Bricks-and-Mortar Sports Wagering OK but NYers still crossing into New Jersey in droves to bet

Although land-based wagering on sporting events is legal currently in New York State and available in 4 bricks-and-mortar casinos upstate, online sports betting won’t be offered this year in the state.

“I’m not giving up the fight,” said New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who has led the charge to have online sports betting for the state that has woefully underperformed thanks to legalization being restricted to four upstate land-based casinos. While Addabbo is New York’s leading proponent of online sports betting, Governor Andrew Cuomo himself recently said he will look at everything including online sports wagering in order to repair the massive budget hole.

“New York calls itself excelsior (State motto which means “ever upward” in Latin), well, in sports betting we are clearly not excelsior.” Addabbo said.

Of course, in neighboring New Jersey, online sports and casino wagering is not prohibited. Bettors in the Garden State regularly make more than 90% of their monthly wagers online. The funny thing is, it’s estimated that as much as 20% of those wagers value are placed by New Yorkers who take their phone for a run, walk or subway ride to nearby New Jersey, log-on to an online sportsbook like FanDuel, BetMGM or 888Sport, place their wagers and head straight back behind New York state lines. Unless Governor Cuomo acts soon in legalizing online sports wagering, that tax revenue is going keep walking straight out of the state and into the tax revenue coffers of New Jersey.

New York generated a mere $9.7 million in revenue via sports betting from July 2019 through January 2020, compared to a massive $243.3 million for New Jersey, according to official figures.

However, as New York’s legislative year closed down for the holiday season, Governor Cuomo’s immediate decision of no new revenue sources means that online sports wagering will need to wait until at least 2021.

Senator Addabbo believes that the money that the Empire State is spending battling the global pandemic might well contrive a scenario where New York will be need to be developing new revenue streams sooner rather than later to plug the budget holes. And if that leads to online sports betting being reconsidered, it would take 4-6 months to get up-and-running.

“We’re now looking at $10 billion we need to make up. It’s almost irresponsible at this point not to consider online sports gambling to help address where we now find ourselves.” Senator Addabbo remarked.

Meanwhile, New Jersey State Governor Phil Murphy is rubbing his hands together, possibly thankful for New York’s lack of action meaning at least another few months of collecting online sports betting revenue at record rates.

Looking at the latest numbers on hand, the Garden State of New Jersey had a record $931 million in sports betting handle in November 2020, with more than 90% of that number being generated through online bets. At this stage, it appears with the return of the NBA and NFL play-offs looming, New Jersey is set to become sports betting’s first monthly billion-dollar state in December 2020 or January 2021.

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