New York Lawmakers Want to Fast Track Legislation to Legalize Online Gambling, Citing New Jersey Success Story

New York legislators have been pushing for the legalization of online gaming, which encompasses sports betting for some time now. However, now, they want the legalization process to be fast-tracked so that the industry can be legalized before the end of the year 2020.

The state is currently suffering from huge revenue gaps like many other states across the country. As such, legalizing iGaming and sports wagering in the state would go a long way in helping to remedy the already dire situation.

As you may very well know, legislation around online gambling varies from state to state. As such, while online casinos, lottery, and sports betting may be legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and a growing list of other states, other states such as New York are yet to join the trend. New York has always been resistant to gambling of all shapes with offenders being subjected to serious penalties.

It is because of this fact that New York punters don’t have much to choose from in the way of big brand casinos. However, as online gambling and sports betting continue to sweep the country, New York legislators are finally coming around and realizing the value of legalized online gambling.

While New York residents have always enjoyed the freedom to participate in wagering activities, whether online or sports betting from brick and mortar casinos without prosecution. Online gambling operators are outlawed from setting up operations in the state. Because the state does not allow online gambling platforms within state boundaries, all online operators catering to punters in the state are located offshore.

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The push to legalize online gambling in New York has been consistent

Neighboring New Jersey is reaping the benefits of its iGaming industry particularly now during the pandemic. As such, legislators in the state are now starting to seriously consider legalizing online gambling. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the revenue numbers in the Garden state showed that the state’s iGaming and sports wagering industries generated record-breaking numbers.

Just a short 2 years after the industry was legalized, the NJ sports betting market is now the biggest in the country, surpassing the once-mighty Nevada. iGaming’s status has also never been better since the industry was legalized in 2013. The only other state that comes close to New Jersey’s might is Pennsylvania.

Total revenue generated by AC’s casinos amounted to $304 million in October 2020, which translates to a year-over-year boost of 14.2% based on figures by the DGE. Online gaming revenue went up more than 106%, accounting for $93.45 million of the industry total.

Casinos, as well as the 3 horse tracks offering sports betting collectively recorded $803,096,172 worth of bets, breaking the state’s previous $748.5 million records in September. New York, on the other hand, was only able to generate gross gaming revenue of $2.6 million in October from its brick and mortar operations. While online and sports betting were thriving, the revenue collected from in-person betting at AC’s 9 casinos only plummeted by 8%.

Physical casinos in New Jersey have demonstrated great resilience during this difficult period but odds seem against them as the infection cases continue to rise all over the country. Online betting and sports wagering revenue have continued to rise as brick and mortar casino revenue continue to struggle, thus proving the importance of the industry to the economy.

That’s why it is so crucial that New York legalize its online gambling industry soon. The process has been lengthy and arduous so far, which hasn’t been received well by punters in the state who aren’t impressed as neighboring New Jersey takes off. Rather than preserving gambling dollars within the state, bettors in New York often travel to nearby Newark, Jersey City, or Hoboken to wager on major sports events as we’ve discussed here.

Although New York is warming up to the idea of a legal online gaming industry and is taking steps in the right direction as covered here, the efforts haven’t been quick enough. The 2019 Poker Bill is a great start but the pace needs to quicken if New York has any hopes of counteracting New Jersey’s power and sway. If New Jersey continues to be the number one choice for NJ punters, NY state coffers will continue to hurt even worse than they are now.

The Poker Bill was introduced in 2019 by Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. to legalize online poker in New York. At the time of its introduction, a similar poker bill had already been introduced 7 times consecutively and rejected. While there is no determining whether the bill will be signed into law, things are looking more favorable by the day.

 

Final Thoughts

The benefits of a legal iGaming and sports betting industry cannot be overstated as evidenced by nearby New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Online betting has the potential to bring in millions if not billions to the struggling state coffers, which is needed now more than ever during this devastating pandemic.

The good news is that the Gaming Commission in the state has already provided its formative approval but there must be a change in the constitution first. Amending a constitution is no small feat; it takes months if not years before a referendum is conducted. In light of this news, it is safe to say that the earliest that New York can legalize online betting is the end of 2021. As such, the only thing that punters in the state can do is watch, and wait.

Are you a New Jersey resident interested in playing online in our state and taking advantage of the best offers?  Check out our curated list of NJ casinos, NJ sportsbooks, and online bonuses. And if you are a poker player, please check our list of Best Poker Sites in New Jersey.

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