New York could soon stop being a mobile betting onlooker

Mobile sports betting could be back on the agenda in New York after Bill S17 passed the first committee stage.

The bill was discussed in the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee and passed unanimously. It will now be passed on to Senate Committee on Finance.

Key details of the bill

If Bill S17 is passed, online and mobile sports wagering will be permitted in the Empire State. Indian casinos will also be able to offer mobile betting, if they partner with a commercial casino.

Betting will also be allowed inside stadia. Race tracks and betting parlours will also be allowed to offer this vertical on their property, if they join forces with a for-profit casino.

Gross gaming revenue would be taxed at 8.5% for retail sports betting and 12% for mobile gambling respectively. Professional sports leagues shall receive 0.20% of betting handle as an ‘integrity fee’.

The case for mobile sports betting in New York 

Sports betting is legal in New York right now, but only on limited terms. Four casinos are licensed upstate, but much of the state’s population lives in or around New York City. Neighbouring New Jersey permits both on and offline sports betting, so it’s easier for many residents to go over there instead.

It’s clear that this is having an impact in New York. November 2019 produced a meagre $1.3 million in revenue, which dropped to $780,418 a month later. Meanwhile, the Garden State enjoyed $32.7m in revenue for November – from a record handle of $562.7m.

The State of New York is enduring a growing budget deficit and will begin discussing the 2020 budget this month. Senator Joseph Addabbo argued that regulated mobile sports betting could help to plug these gaps.

Addabbo also noted that even if the vertical isn’t included in the initial budget, it doesn’t matter as long as it is in the final one. The confirmed budget will be completed on April 1st.

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