Latest NY Sports Betting News
frequently asked questions
Yes! Online sports betting, which includes betting on mobile devices anywhere in the state, was legalized by Governor Cuomo on April 19, 2021. After regulations were finalized, the first online sportsbooks launched on January 8, 2022.
This question requires a bit of unpacking. Sportsbooks pay taxes in the states in which they operate. Each state sets its own tax rate for sportsbooks. Some are pretty low (Colorado and Indiana have tax rates below 10%) while other states have very high tax rates (Pennsylvania has a 36% tax rate). New York topped them all, settling at 51%. The real question is how these tax rates impact in-state betting. Isn’t that good for residents since the state will generate even more revenue? Yes and no. Here’s why:
Sportsbooks are for-profit businesses. Most of them are even publicly traded companies. They want their costs to be as low as possible. A high tax rate is a cost for these companies. Paying taxes is part of doing business, but there comes a point when a sportsbook can lose money if it isn’t bringing in enough revenue. If a sportsbook makes $10 million in revenue and the state takes half of it, they have to pay all their bills with the remaining $5 million. That’s a lot of money, but sportsbooks have a lot of bills to pay. Advertising, running the servers, new customer promotions, paying employees, and more – it all adds up quickly. In order to be profitable, they will have to sign up a lot of new customers in the state. The biggest companies in New York believe they will be able to sign up enough customers to be profitable, but the smaller sportsbooks may ultimately bow out because they can’t find a profit.
This could mean less competition and fewer options for bettors in the state over time, which would lead to a lower “handle” or amount that bettors wagered in a given month, which would result in less tax revenue for the state. However, the same concerns were voiced when Pennsylvania announced its very high 36% tax rate and the operators there seem to be doing just fine. The bottom line is that we don’t know whether a 51% tax rate will negatively impact sports betting in the state, but simple economics says that sportsbooks will have to generate a lot of revenue in order to be profitable. This may ultimately effect the in-state betting prices as well. If the books need to operate at a higher profit, they may set certain lines that make it so they win more often. No other state has gone this high on the tax rate, so we look forward to seeing how it plays out now that the market has launched.
New York state officials gave the OK for pretty much all major sports betting formats. They include:
- Live/In-game betting
- Prop bets
Yes, for the most part. Many of the same operators that are in NJ are also be in NY. Most of the same bet types and sports are available for wagering. The apps look similar, too. You can deposit and withdraw using the same methods. There are a few minor differences, however. Non-sporting events like the Academy Awards will not be available for betting in NY, and the NJ college teams (Seton Hall, Rutgers, etc.) that aren’t available for betting in NJ will be available in NY. Other than that it is quite a similar experience.
Yes you can. Right now there are a handful of casinos in four counties in upstate NY that have in-person sportsbooks. This is in addition to the tribal casinos, also located upstate, that have legal sports betting but are not regulated by the state of New York. The hope is that additional casinos, along with large sportsbooks, will open closer to New York City sometime in the future. This topic has been hotly debated in the state legislature and has not been resolved yet. In the meantime, if you want to bet in-person, you can take a road trip to Schenectady or Waterloo to find a retail sportsbook and place your wagers.
In November 2021 the NY Gaming Commission approved nine sportsbooks to enter the NY market. They are:
- Bally Bet
- BetMGM – Launch 1/17/22
- BetRivers – Launch 1/8/22
- Caesars Sportsbook – Launch 1/8/22
- DraftKings Sportsbook – Launch 1/8/22
- FanDuel Sportsbook – Launch 1/8/22
- PointsBet – Launch 1/24/22
- Resorts World Bet – Launch 3/2/22
- WynnBET – Launch 2/4/22
Yes, there are exclusive promotions for new customers. Due to the high tax rate we feared the offerings may be less than what bettors have come to know in other states, but so far that has not proven true. Promotions such as odds boosts, deposit matches, and risk-free bets for new customers are readily available. As long as there are multiple betting options, they’ll be competing for your business with promo offers.
New York regulators decided which sports can be bet on in the state. The only major restrictions surround college sports and NY state teams.
New York online sportsbooks are not permitted to accept action on any college that calls New York “home”. That rules out betting on ALL NY-based colleges, no matter where they are competing. In addition, a game/contest between two non-NY colleges that is being played in the state of NY will similarly be restricted. The only exception is for games that are a part of a “tournament” – so NCAA tourney games hosted at Madison Square Garden or the Barclay’s Center are still fair game, assuming a NY team is not competing.
Here are some of the sports that are available to bettors:
- Australian Rules Football
- Basketball (NCAA and NBA)
- Football (NCAA and NFL)
- Olympic sports
- Table tennis
Geofencing technology allows sportsbooks to know where you are (or at least where your smartphone is) so that you can wager while in a certain area with legal sports betting. This technology places a virtual fence around the state, so you can bet while you’re in the state but not when you are somewhere else. This is done by allowing sportsbook apps to use the location tracking technology included on your smartphone. You don’t have to sign up for anything or download any new apps. It’s all automatic. Now that sports betting is fully legal in NY, the sportsbooks have updated their apps and eligible persons (21+) can wager.
Bettors using a desktop computer will need to download a separate piece of geotracking software to confirm their location.
Unfortunately, you can’t play online casino games or online poker in NY. Online casino gaming has been wildly popular in NJ, generating millions in revenue for the state. However, online casino gaming and poker has been slow to catch on nationwide. Right now it is only legal in a handful of states. New York is not one of those states and the legislature has not shown any interest in legalizing them, so if you want to play the slots, double down at the blackjack table, or enter a poker tournament, you will have to go to a retail casino or head back over to NJ.
NY Sports Betting Law
Mobile sports betting is now legal and live in New York state! It’s been a long road, but the legislature finally realized how much money was on the table and came together in the spring of 2021 to legalize mobile sports betting statewide.
Final regulations were hammered out over the back half of 2021, and online betting began officially on January 8, 2022.
In-person sports betting has been legal in New York since 2018, but it has been limited to a few retail casinos in four upstate counties. Now that statewide mobile sports betting is legal, New Yorkers can wager from the comfort of their homes. This is bad news for the bars and coffee shops in Hoboken that swelled with Manhattanites making their weekly bets, but it is good for everyone in New York who wants to legally bet on sports in their home state.
A closer look at the NY sports betting legislation
Here is what’s included in the sports betting bill signed into law by Governor Cuomo on April 19, 2021.
- Who can play: Anyone 21 and older can sign up for a sportsbook account. You have to physically be located in NY when wagering, but you don’t have to be a NY resident to sign up for an account.
- Betting locations: Statewide online using a mobile app or internet browser; retail at the four existing commercial casinos in the state. Additional retail locations could be forthcoming, but haven’t been confirmed yet.
- Agency in charge of regulation: New York Gaming Commission.
- Tax rate for sportsbooks: 51% which is the highest tax rate in the country.
- Annual licensing fee: $25 million (!) for a 10-year license.
- Where the taxes go: Problem gambling education and treatment programs, youth sports and education grant programs, and the state general fund.
Benefits of legal sports betting in New York
- High tax rate will ensure a lot of money goes to the state coffers
- Regulatory structure will guarantee customer funds are kept safe and will always be available for withdrawal, pending operator approval
- Sports betting revenue will be kept in NY with the tax revenues going to services that benefit NY residents
- No more trips to NJ to gamble, unless you really like seeing horse racing at the Meadowlands or want to spend a weekend in Atlantic City
- You can legally bet from your couch!
Potential negatives for NY online sports betting
- Regulations and taxes put in place may not result in the most robust marketplace. In other words, it will be less profitable for new, smaller sportsbooks to come to the state.
- High taxes could result in limited competition, inferior lines, and fewer promotions offered to bettors in the state. Sportsbooks have to make money somehow, especially if half of their revenue is going to taxes. Early indicators are positive, however.
- Legalized sports betting could result in additional cases of problem gambling. Sports betting, like all types of gambling, is a form of entertainment and best enjoyed in moderation. All sportsbooks have programs in place to help with problem gambling, including self-exclusion, deposit limits, and wager limits. If you or anyone you know might have a problem with gambling, please call the National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline at 1.800.522.4700. Someone there will be able to connect you with resources to help with problem gambling.