So you live in or around New York, and you love sports! In the big apple there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of sporting arenas and teams spread out across the five boroughs of Manhattan and its suburbs. As a result, New Yorkers have become experts at choosing the seats for their favorite teams, or losing their wits when the team they like has played the hated rival and lost. This is why there are so many sports bars in the city, and so much competition in terms of sportsbook lines.
The sportsbook industry has shot up over the past few years, with multiple mega-banks backing dozens of sportsbooks. So, now the question becomes, “Which is the best site?” Unfortunately, because New York is home to so many sports teams, the answer isn’t an easy one. Currently, there isn’t any New York on-line sports betting choice, which has kept the sportsbook lines and overall revenue figures down because several states across the country have seen incredible growth in gaming industries. Now that NY is faced with a serious budget deficit, there’s even more pressure on the financially strapped state to provide on-line sports betting options.
One of the first choices up for debate in the New York State legislature is whether to regulate sportsbooks or not. Lawmakers want to make sure licensed sports book operators don’t take advantage of New Yorkers by taking the lion’s share of profit through credit card transactions and gambling transactions from people who don’t live in New York. This would potentially violate the law that gives the state the power to regulate its casinos. Some of the lawmakers behind this measure believe that it will increase tourism and employment opportunities in Upstate New York. Opponents argue that it will cost the state millions of dollars and create chaos in the already crowded state’s tourism industry.
The second choice for a possible solution in the New York State House may be more palatable to lawmakers. If the State ends up subsidizing online New York sportsbooks, the argument goes, those who bet online will simply move their money to another state with better taxation. That would, theoretically, solve the problem of increased gambling and online poker betting in New York. In order for this to become an actual argument, however, it will likely require the backing of both houses of the New York State Legislature.
A proposal that has been floated to combat New York City’s budget deficit involves a new law that would allow any New York State resident to be able to wager on sports online using funds provided by the State. The new law would require licensed bookmakers to open and maintain accounts at licensed sports books, which would allow the State to collect its share of the profits. This would be a great deal for the average New Yorker who doesn’t currently have access to a bookmaker because he or she can’t get a license to operate a traditional bookmakers in New York City. The plan is still in the making, but if it passes, it will be interesting to see if it gets the support from both Houses of the New York State Legislature.
One issue that representatives on both sides of the aisle in the State House haven’t addressed is the percentage drop in takeovers by bookmakers when the New York State Supreme Court strikes down a law. For years, the top bookmakers in the state have tried to prevent sports betting in the courts and have tried to stop municipalities from allowing sports betting on their taxpayer-owned venues. While they haven’t lost all of their supporters, they’ve lost several key allies in the form of Assemblymanucci, who chairs the budget committee in the State Senate. The Assemblyman suggested that there may be some problems with the revenue generated through sportsbooks that are participating in online gambling, especially considering that in-state casinos are paying the same taxes as online bookmakers. New York’s revenue comes mainly from tourism and licensed gaming, so it would make sense for the legislature to give the public another choice in where to gamble.
Many lawmakers want to keep the government’s hands off of gaming. However, if the state is going to start taxing online games, they should include online sports betting among the games that they regulate. That way, the government can claim a portion of the tax revenues generated from online gambling, which would provide some help towards the capital reserve. For example, the New York State Lottery Commission receives more than $1 billion in tax incentives every year. Those numbers alone show how beneficial the industry could be for the state.
Although some think that NY Sports Betting would lose a bit of credibility if a site outside of New York allowed sports betting, Joseph Addabbo thinks that would be a bad idea. “Let’s face it, if people can do it at home, why not do it on their cell phone?” The mob has taken over the house and no one is safe from their threats. If the legislature really wants to regulate online gaming and protect the gaming industry, it should include sports betting as part of the deal.