State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., Chair of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering; Assemblymember Gary Pretlow, Chair of the Assembly Committee of Racing and Wagering:
Even though sports wagering is legal in New York State in person at the four upstate casinos, the fact that we do not allow mobile sports betting gives the illegal market a great opportunity to thrive. By legalizing mobile sports betting, we can curtail this criminal activity and recoup lost revenue that could go towards New York’s $6 billion budget shortfall.
- While your traditional bookies are still taking illegal bets, there is a new market for those looking to place a wager on sporting events: online bookies, like the offshore gambling operator Bovada.
- It is already difficult to track illegal wagers made through local bookies, but with the advent of unregulated online offshore bookies, that task becomes even more difficult.
- The American Gaming Association estimates that roughly 97% of all bets placed on the Super Bowl were made in a technically illegal fashion and that each year nationally over $150 billion is wagered illegally.
- Since New York does not allow for mobile sports wagering, a growing number of individuals are taking to their phones and betting illegally with companies that have their servers on offshore sites, meaning we do not see any of that taxable revenue.
- By authorizing mobile sports betting in our state budget, we can regulate the illegal activity, raise significant revenue, create jobs, increase educational funding and better identify, address and monitor an individual’s possible gaming addiction.
The best way to combat these illegal avenues is to give people a legal, convenient and regulated way to place bets on their favorite sports through mobile sports betting in our own state.
This is the second release in an 8-part weekly series of points on why New York State should include mobile sports betting in the 2020-2021 Budget.