The US is battling the coronavirus pandemic and land-based casinos have shut their doors nationwide. Those who reside in states where online gambling is legal can consider themselves lucky because they can continue to enjoy their favorite pastime. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada were the first to legalize this activity and other states were quick to walk into their footsteps. New York could well be the next to legalize online sports betting, after several failed attempts.
What has changed in New York?
New Yorkers were confident that online gambling will be within their grasp a few years ago when the first bills were proposed. Unfortunately, these attempts fell flat and the most recent one initiated by Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr was also unsuccessful. Punters were particularly concerned by the fact that with the legislative session being cut short, they will be even less time to deal with this matter. Online gambling was not exactly the top priority for lawmakers and it also faced strong opposition from some groups.
As lawmakers are trying to deal with pressing matters, such as wage increases, veterans’ matters and social services, gambling took a place on the backseat. This lack of enthusiasm isn’t shared by the state residents, who are counting on their representatives to take action. Studies are on the table to determine the economic benefits of legalizing online gambling in general and mobile sports betting in particular. So far, progress was slow and deadlines were missed one after another, but things could change in 2020.
Strong support from major leagues
Not only sports fans are hoping that online gambling will be legalized in New York to spice things up in the months to come. The major sports leagues are also trying to find a way to bring back the fans, after the numbers have dropped sharply over the last few years. The Major League Baseball is experiencing a steady decline and the New York Mets are also struggling with fewer fans. Online sports betting could have a positive impact, as it would bring back some of the fans, while also attracting new ones.
In upstate New York, things have advanced in the right direction over the last couple of years. The Rivers Casino and Resort exceeded expectations, by attracting a high number of people from both within and outside state borders. Here, people can also bet on mobile devices, which led to a surge in the number of online gamblers visiting the casino. The prospect of legalizing online sports betting nationwide looks particularly promising under these circumstances and could bring more money to the state coffers.
For the time being, lawmakers feel like they have bigger fish to fry and more pressing matters to deal with. Progress is slow, but eventually should bring online sports bettors closer to their goal and add New York on the list of US states where Internet sports betting is legal.