“[T]his decision… has no bearing whatsoever on the legality of advancing mobile sports betting in the state of New York, and I will continue to push for New Yorkers to have a safe, legal, and convenient way to bet on sports in their own state,” Sen. Addabbo said.
By Michael V. Cusenza
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) on Friday said that he’s looking forward to the reversal of a recent State appeals court ruling that declared all daily fantasy sports betting illegal in New York.
“While the ruling from the New York Appellate Division, Third Department, was unfortunate, the Legislature clearly considered fantasy sports to be a game of skill when it passed the law, and I expect the Court of Appeals to reverse the decision,” said Addabbo, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. “While I believe this decision to be a temporary setback for fans of daily fantasy sports and companies like FanDuel and DraftKings, it has no bearing whatsoever on the legality of advancing mobile sports betting in the state of New York, and I will continue to push for New Yorkers to have a safe, legal, and convenient way to bet on sports in their own state.”
While it’s unclear how the ruling might impact support for legalizing mobile sports wagering in the Empire State, it didn’t preclude Addabbo and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering, from releasing on Monday Point 2 of their eight-part weekly series of points on why the State should include mobile sports betting in the 2020-2021 budget. This week’s column focuses on regulating illegal sports betting.
“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,” Addabbo and Pretlow wrote. “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.”
The senator and assemblyman also pointed out that:
While traditional bookies are still taking illegal bets, there is a new market for those looking to place a wager on sporting events: online bookies, such as 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 percent of all bets placed on the Super Bowl were made in a technically illegal fashion and that each year nationally more than $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 the State does not see any of that taxable revenue.
By authorizing mobile sports betting in the budget, the State 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,” Addabbo and Pretlow concluded.