New York needs a strong and versatile mobile betting market

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 11 Mar 2021, 1:08 p.m.

New York’s position and current initiatives regarding sports wagering were the main panel discussions on the virtual webinar called The Future of Sports Wagering in New York. This event was held last week, where several iGaming experts and law representatives expressed their views on the matter.

The former deputy gaming secretary for gov. Andrew Cuomo, Bennet Liebman, opened the event with an impressive “then and now” overview of gaming in New York and future predictions regarding current sports gaming proposals.

Far Behind Other States in the US 

Over the last three years, 25 states in the US have legalised sports betting, and 10 more continue passing the legislation in 2021.  New York’s bill has a 20-month span where all sportsbooks and entities can apply, whether it be racetracks, stadiums or arenas. Earlier this year, gov. Cuomo has said that his strategy regarding sports betting relies strictly on mobile. This means that he wants the state to run mobile sports betting in the manner they run the lottery. According to experts, the acceptance of the tribal representatives will be a major factor and challenge in moving forward with any process.

The state of New York offers in-person sports betting at four commercial casinos. However, the lack of a sustainable and vast online market has left NY behind other states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan. These states are recorders in sports betting handles and revenue and have marked a tremendous growth in the last months.

While A. Cuomo prefers to adopt the lottery run system, lawmakers agree that an open market with multiple operators will be beneficial for the overall industry operations and identity.  A detailed study released in late January estimates that land-based retails and online sports wagering would generate between $816 million - $1.14 billion in annual gross gaming revenue. As for tribal sports betting, the study projects $72 - $99 million in annual state revenue.

PNG Debute in Illinois with Barstool Sportsbooks 

While New York faces challenges regarding the future sports betting market, Illinois marks another successful betting month with more than $580 million in sports betting for January. This allowed the US betting handle to exceed $4 billion in a month. As a reminder, Illinois started its first sports betting operation on March 9 last year, with January being the seventh month in a row with a record in sports betting handles.

Although January was a record month for this state, it has remained behind New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Still, it shows a lot of potential for growth in the upcoming months, especially with the Barstool Sportsbook launch. Illinois is the third state after Michigan and Pennsylvania, where this provider will be live.

The CEO of Penn National Gaming, Jay Snowden, said they’re excited to launch their online sportsbook in Illinois just before March Madness and the college basketball regular season wrap up. As the only gaming operator with a fully integrated sports media and entertainment partner, players in Illinois will be able to engage through the online Barstool Sportsbook. The mobile app will be available on iOS, Android and desktop from March 11, 2021, at 12:00 CST. They’re eager to take advantage of the building momentum for their app with the Illinois launch and upcoming launches they’ve planned for 2021.

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