Apparently, New York lawmakers need a study to tell them what the rest of the world already knows. And, they’re having trouble even getting that off the ground, never mind launching online and mobile sports betting.
What is blatantly obvious to everyone else in and around New York is that millions of dollars are floating across the Hudson River to legal sportsbooks in New Jersey every week. (Millions more now that the NFL is back.)
Over the past year, New Jersey has grown into the largest sports betting market in the country. This is because of its proximity to the Empire State as well as New York lawmakers’ inaction on the issue.
In fact, FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack has quickly become one of the top-grossing retail sportsbooks in the country. The No. 1 reason is that it sits less than a half-hour drive from Manhattan and right beside MetLife Stadium where the NFL’s New York Jets and New York Giants play.
NEW YORK RETAIL SPORTS BETTING IS A GO
New York did give its upstate NY commercial casinos the right to open retail sportsbooks, and all four now have. However, efforts to expand NY sports betting to include online and mobile wagering have failed for the past two years. So, New Yorkers are still crossing every bridge and tunnel they can to bet online in New Jersey instead.
Resorts World Catskills opened the closest retail sportsbook to New York City last week. However, it’s at least 60 miles north of New York City. So, most New York City residents will continue betting online in New Jersey or flock to the Meadowlands until New York lawmakers finally get something done.
As mentioned earlier, the lawmakers who couldn’t get a comprehensive NY sports betting bill passed did manage to commission a study on mobile sports betting this year. Four companies submitted bids to run it before an Aug. 12 deadline to do so. However, a month later, New York still hasn’t picked a winner. Apparently, they’re still waiting for the right bidder to come forward.
THE LONGER THE NY SPORTS BETTING STUDY TAKES, THE MORE NJ BENEFITS
The New York sports betting study was set to begin Sept. 1, and that didn’t happen. But does it really matter?
Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr., chair of the NY Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, is hoping this study will give lawmakers a reason to act on the issue.
He told LegalSportsReport.com‘s Matthew Kredell, the NY sports betting study can be “a blueprint for consistency and maximizing the potential of gaming in (NY).”
In his mind, it can be “the foundation to make good decisions, credible decisions, positive decisions in regards to gaming in (NY).”
In other words, it might help push the state toward more than just online and mobile sports betting. It could get the state moving on online lottery sales, the three new casinos near New York City and other forms of online gambling.
Sen. Addabbo is right when he says these things that could have a significant impact on tax revenue, education funding and job growth in the state.
But if New York’s track record on this and other gaming issues is any indication, New Jersey will continue to feel the impact for at least the next few years.
A study telling New York lawmakers what everybody already knows isn’t going to change that.