How Has Sports Betting Impacted NY

Photo Tim Hart Unsplash

Like dozens of other states, New York has taken full advantage of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act being overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018. During the summer of 2019, New York began retail sports betting inside the state’s casinos. That was followed by the launch of mobile sports betting in January 2022. Today, there are several sportsbooks in NY operating both online and in brick-and-mortar locations. It’s safe to say that the Empire State hasn’t been the same since sports betting became legal.

When mobile betting became legal in New York, it did so with a 51% tax rate for operators. While those sportsbook operators have lobbied to have that number reduced, more than half a dozen operators have been willing to pay that rate for market access to one of the most populous states in the country. As a result of that tax rate and the popularity of mobile betting in New York, the Empire State has been one of the best examples of legal sports betting generating revenue for the state to use.

During the first year of mobile betting in New York, mobile sportsbooks handled more than $1 billion in 10 of 12 months. In that first year, mobile sports betting helped to generate $709 million in tax revenue for New York. On top of that, New York collected another $200 million in licensing fees from sportsbooks that operate inside the state. That means the state added $909 million in revenue in just one year thanks to legalized mobile sports betting.

Perhaps more importantly, Governor Kathy Hochul has pledged that a vast majority of the tax revenue from online sports betting will be put toward education. Programs related to gambling addiction and youth sports have also been funded in New York thanks to the extra money generated from legal sports betting.

Specifically, New York used $5 million of its betting revenue during the 2023 fiscal year on youth sports programs and $6 million to fund gambling addiction education and treatment programs. The rest went to fund education. In other words, the state of New York is able to add hundreds of millions of dollars into education that it wasn’t able to do before sports betting had become legal.

“In just one year, New York has become a national leader in providing responsible entertainment for millions while bringing in record-shattering revenue for education, youth sports, and problem gambling prevention,” said Hochul when marking the first anniversary of mobile betting in New York.

The first year of legal sports betting in New York saw nearly four million people participate. That helped New York to surpass New Jersey and Nevada as the largest sports betting market in the country. There is even talk of expanding betting opportunities for New York residents. Currently, the state doesn’t allow bets on draft picks or player awards. However, thanks to the success of sports betting thus far, proponents of betting among state legislators are hoping to give bettors in the Empire State more options in the years to come.

“This is just the beginning, and I look forward to mobile sports betting generating more revenue for years to come,” says Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, who played a key role in getting New York to adopt online sports betting in the first place.

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About the Author: Brian Novak