Tricky Situation With NY Politics And Online Gambling

(STL.News) New York is about to join many other US states that recently legalized sports betting.  When Super Bowl 2022 comes around, those all over the Empire State will be able to wager on the big game using betting sites and sportsbook apps.  However, gambling enthusiasts in NY might be surprised to find a suspicious lack of casino games like slots and blackjack.  That’s because those aren’t allowed outside of casinos.  New York’s lawmakers are divided on the subject of gambling, and everyone in the state will feel the results.

At this current time, NY gambling laws state that bets must happen in a casino. In February 2022, online sports betting will be deemed lawful.  For now, this limits the action to upstate facilities, which is especially odd for the state as it cuts off one of the biggest cities in the world.  NYC residents will be able to get in on the sports action; BetMGM has a deal with Madison Square Garden to offer betting kiosks and booths during sports games played in the stadium.  Those looking to bet online will be able to use apps from FanDuel, DraftKings, Bally Bet, BetMGM, Caesars, WynnBET, Empire Resorts, PointsBet, and BetRivers. But that’s just for sports. Casino games are still a no-go for online play.

Meanwhile, states like Michigan and Arizona are raking in the cash from their fully legal betting and casino systems.  Betting in New York has been lagging behind these eager states thanks to division in the government. While many key figures have pushed for statewide gambling, others feel that it’s too much.  Poker, horse racing, and sports were able to slide in thanks to old laws and their widespread adoption elsewhere.  But a sizable number want casino games to stay in the casino, and for now, their voices are the loudest.  Even sports betting was a battle at the Governor’s level, ending in a hard push to include it in the 2022 state budget.

As such, sports betting will be the only type of online gambling allowed in New York.  It remains to be seen what will happen in future debates as NY has seen a sudden change in Governer.  The former was all for sports betting and actively worked to make it happen, but who knows what the next administration will have to say?  As for poker, it is allowed on a technicality thanks to global poker sites.  Winners earn money as “giveaways” which muddies the definition enough to not count as gambling.

Until February, New Yorkers will have to travel upstate or to Atlantic City to hit up casinos and place bets.  This is something NYC residents are used to, with Atlantic City weekend trips being something of a light vacation.  This is sure to change when the sports betting laws hit and gambling enthusiasts are free to bet from their phones.  While this won’t beat the luxury of an Atlantic City weekend, it is sure to change the financial and social landscape of the Big Apple.  NYC is poised to become a huge gambling earner, maybe even enough to rival Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

New York has the potential to become one of the largest gambling hubs in the US.  But the real question is if the lawmakers even want that.  Many don’t, which has led to NY’s unique situation of allowing sports betting and nothing else.  While the issue is closed for the rest of this year, and probably 2022 since the budget is already decided, there might be hope for reemergence on a future ballot.  NY is a place of constant change, especially the city, so nothing is ever truly off the table.