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New York Finally Says Yes to Online Sports Betting

April 8, 2021

Online bookmakers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania knew it was just a matter of time before New York would say yes to online sports betting. The news in recent weeks indicated it was coming sooner than later. Now, the day has arrived. In theory, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has agreed to let the legislature craft an online gambling bill that would put a limited operator model for online sports betting front and center.

All of this came to be as the Governor and legislature were contemplating their upcoming state budget requirements. One can only assume that after seeing the state was in serious financial trouble, the lure of tax revenues from gambling operations became more than Gov. Cuomo could resist. It was an about-face that took place over a few months, not years.

Under the limited operator model, the New York State Lottery Commission will have regulatory control over online sports betting activities. A total of two mobile betting operators will be used with up to four skins available. With such limited access, it's a good bet that the country's largest and most powerful bookmakers will be at the forefront of the New York online sports betting community.

The two names getting most of the attention so far have been DraftKings and FanDuel. These two online gambling behemoths look like they will be going at it again, this time in New York. Of course, it's too early to rule out the possibility that someone like Penn National, William Hill, or Barstool might step in and grab one of the spots. Anything is possible when it comes to sports betting in New York.

While the legislature favored an open operator model, Cuomo ended up getting his way. In all fairness, there are successful states that are having big success with either model in place. What is unique about New York is the New York sports betting market is likely to become the nation's biggest market with online and mobile gambling access in place. The limited operator model has never been tried in such a big market.

According to Governor Cuomo, he is expecting the state to rake in about $500 million a year in tax revenue from online sports betting handle. If he can do that with the limited operator model, he would be satisfied. If things don't pan out the way he expects, he has left the door open to move more towards an open operator model.

There are still a lot of details that need to be hammered out into the form of legislation. In the meantime, New Jersey's online bookmakers will continue basking in the glory of all of those New York tax dollars coming across the bridge.

When New York does finally open up the state for online sports betting, they will be looking to supplant New Jersey as the top sports betting state in the country. The irony will be that New York's newfound success will be at the hands of many of the same online gamblers that made New Jersey king for a day.


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