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NY’s Cuomo Embraces Online Gambling; Shows Inroads Amid Pandemic

Bet on New York emerging a bit more flush from the pandemic. Soon, you might be able to bet on it…literally, online and through mobile means. (OK, actually, you’ll be able to be bet on sporting events that way.)

New York will join the pantheon of states that have legalized mobile sports betting, per a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo released Wednesday (Jan. 6). That would make New York the most populous state to allow that type of wagering. As tallied by states have allowed mobile sports betting, with 19 states offer sports betting overall.

Allowing that revenue stream into the state would help close a budget shortfall — to the tune of $16 billion — that has bedeviled the state in the wake of the pandemic. According to reports, Cuomo is set to unveil the proposal to legalize online gambling (he also seeks to legalize marijuana) in his state of the state address that is scheduled for next week.

In terms of how it all might go down, Cuomo is reportedly mulling a single platform/online provider to service online betting in the state, through partnerships with casinos. That would be done through a lottery system, according to reports.

Bloomberg noted that, per data compiled by Vixio GamblingCompliance, the total online betting market can be worth as much as $10 billion in 2025, up from $1.6 billion last year.

Separately, and as reported by PYMNTS, a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed sports betting in 2018 and online gambling gained ground even as brick and mortar locations had to close. To get a sense of the (pun intended) windfalls that come to states that embrace gaming, the American Gaming Association reported that commercial gaming revenues in the U.S. rebounded to $9 billion in the third quarter, reaching 81 percent of the industry’s pre-COVID-19 levels. Within that headline number, total iGaming revenues stood at $435 million in the quarter, up more than 232 percent. Taken year to date through the end of the third quarter, revenues from that segment stood at a bit more than $1 billion, up a bit more than 205 percent.

“The U.S. gambling market is younger, meaning its approach to regulation is more fractured and integrating digital disbursement applications wholesale is more difficult,” PYMNTS wrote back in May.

In the announcement from Cuomo’s office on Wednesday (Jan. 6), Cuomo said that the “operator or platform must have a partnership with one of the existing licensed commercial casinos.” Cuomo said in a statement that accompanied the release that “New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States, and by legalizing online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars in revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis.”

On the heels of that news, as Bloomberg reported, the largest sports betting exchange traded fund, the Roundhill Sports Betting & Gaming ETF, spiked more than four percent. Drilling down a bit, companies such as DraftKings, a sports betting operator, were up by as much as 8 percent on the day, closing up nearly 3 percent for the session. DraftKings said in its latest earnings report that monthly Unique Payers for its business-to-consumer (B2C) operation surged 64 percent in contrast to Q3 2019.

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