It initially seemed like a formality but has taken drastically longer than expected, but it is finally here. The New York Gaming Commission unanimously approved regulations for licensing sports betting in the great state of New York. New York will join a growing list of states across the US that are beginning to offer sports betting since PASPA was struck down in 2018. Maybe it was watching New Jersey rake in monthly record numbers that finally made someone decide to get something done.
Betting Like a Pro Means Thinking Like One First
Plenty of legal tape, licensing, and layout issues to be tackled but Del Lago Resort and Casino plan is to open up sports betting by the beginning of August in their newly constructed 6,000 square-foot lounge that will seat 200. Del Lago has partnered with Draftkings to create the sportsbook and is expected to have floor to ceiling video displays. The other 3 upstate casinos that will initially offer retail only wagering are Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, Rivers Casino in Schenectady, and Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier. Look for all of these venues to rush to be certain wagering is available before the football season kicks off. The casinos are hoping for an uptick in revenue as they have all struggled to meet projections since they opened two years ago.
No Mobile Betting?
At this point, states should see the clear picture that offering mobile sports betting equals a drastic increase in monthly revenues. So most understand the importance of offering mobile betting in a day and age where half of the people's lives run thru their phone.
Most New York punters want the option, and of course, the casinos would like to offer but Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not sure it is currently legal. New York approved a referendum in 2013 that allowed private casinos to operate in the state. Cuomo's administration believes that existing laws only allow for on-site betting at private casinos. Lawmakers and casinos continue to press to add mobile but it looks like a longshot that they can strike a deal before the end of the legislative session that wraps up on June 19th. Even Cuomo himself says he does not think mobile sports betting legalization will get done this year.
Some Highlights (Lowlights) Of What It Will Look Like
There are some good and bad points in the bill from pieces I have read. Obviously, not having mobile at launch is a major drawback and will costs the state a large amount of revenue dollars until it is widely offered. People that prefer to play online will stay at the online sportsbooks especially when they are the only game in town offering mobile capabilities.
Mobile Betting and Why You Want It
New York's bill appears to include my least favorite piece I've seen regarding sports wagering, the integrity fee. A .20% fee of the total handle goes to professional sports leagues, I have hated this since it was first mentioned and it remains one of the worst ideas that will nothing more than harm the consumer. In addition, the casinos will also be required to purchase official league data.
Tax Rate is not terrible at 8.5% and operators will have to pay an initial licensing fee of $12 million. Minus the league required payments, it's not the worse thing I've seen but man do I hate that integrity fee and really hope it does not set a precedent for other states going forward.