New York officially passes online sports betting

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 8 Apr 2021, 11:36 a.m.

After several months of back-and-forth proposals and initiatives between the governor and lawmakers, it’s now official- mobile sports betting is coming to New York. This week, the governor of NY, Andrew Cuomo, announced the budget for 2022, including the legalisation of mobile sports betting to help generate new tax revenue channels.

Aiming to generate $500m in revenue

The State will issue a call for applications under the budget legislation and must select at least two platform providers who’ll collaborate with at least four operators. Representatives from the governor’s office say that once they align the phases, the legalisation of sports wagering will provide more than $500million in revenue, with the possibility of becoming the largest sports betting market in the US. Moreover, they add that once the programme is fully up and running, it will provide approximately $5million to youth sports and $6million to tackle problem gambling behaviour. The remainder of the tax revenue will go to educational purposes.

As a reminder, the State of New York already allows sports betting at its upstate casinos. However, it will allow residents who live in or closer to New York an easier, more convenient opportunity to wager with the mobile betting options. This move will likely put New Jersey’s online sports betting market to a test since it’s one of the state’s most robust since launching.

Many lawmakers and casino experts were pushing the process of legalising mobile betting. However, Cuomo had another plan for the betting market. In January, he said that they want to run mobile sports betting the way the state runs the lottery. This way, the governor wanted to give the upstate casinos a chance to establish themselves in the process before allowing competition. Now, under Cuomo’s plan, the New York Lottery will run the operations and licence out a proposal to other sportsbooks.

Back in January, when the governor first talked about legal mobile sports betting, he said that his plan is not to offer additional market opportunities to casinos and that he’s only interested in opening and raising revenue channels for the state. According to sources, there’s no official timeframe for the new market launch. However, New York would be the most populated state to offer online sports betting when this happens.

Sportsbooks in Virginia generated $265 million in wagers for February

The State of Virginia released its February sports betting figures, revealing that the state has accumulated more than $265 million in wagers. This happened in the month, which featured one of the leading sports betting events in the US - the Super Bowl.

Sports betting in Virginia had its official debut back in January, delivering $59 million in handle from the four operators that went live by the end of January ( FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and BetRivers). The generated tax revenue was allocated to the General Fund and Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund within the Department of Behavioural Health.

In the period that follows, the number of legal sportsbooks in Virginia will likely surpass the cap of 12 permissions. This happens after the bill discusses some changes. One of them is that the mobile sports betting licences and casino licences should be separated instead of falling into the same category. The temporary permits granted by the Virginia Lottery allow sportsbooks to showcase their products and offers to bettors in the state. 

As their operations were launched on consecutive days in January, the states of Virginia and Michigan contribute with $741million in online bets so far. With Michigan’s impressive $302million in online bets for February, these states are on position one and two on the list of high-volume first months of online legal sports betting.

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