New York, Vermont Relentless Pursuit for Mobile Betting Continues

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A year-and-a-half after a Supreme Court’s decision granted individual states with the opportunity to decide their own fate in terms of betting or no betting, New York and Vermont are among the latest to show their willingness to introduce the necessary legislation for mobile betting.

New York state senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., who is the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, vowed his support for the legalization of online betting in the state, while at the same time two of his colleagues from Vermont – state senators Dick Sears and Michael Sirotkin – filed a bill with the State government to allow mobile betting in the state.

Different Approaches

The differences between both approaches are stemming directly from the situations in the aforementioned states: in NY betting is legal only for in-person betting in four upstate casinos that are too far away from the city, and the push there is justified by the inconvenience for the public that leads to outflow of money towards neighboring states, while in Vermont there is no legal betting so far – the bill filed encompasses mobile betting only, attempting to gain a competitive advantage with 10% tax for all sports wagering receipts compared to their neighbor New Hampshire where the exclusivity of DraftKings costs them 50% of the revenue.

Quick Fix for Deficits?

“… I will continue to advocate for the implementation of mobile sports betting in New York State, which will curb the flow of dollars to nearby states that could be used – now and in the future – to balance the state budget and provide needed funding support for education and create jobs.” Sen. Addabbo, N.Y.

A CBS report on how New York residents still prefer to travel to New Jersey to bet on mobile.

Balancing the state budget, however, would not be an easy job, as according to NY State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, the results from betting in neighboring New Jersey show a meagre $13 million raised from sports wagering, what would be “a rounding figure” for the State of New York as he claims, and one far away from the $3 billion in deficit. Gov. Cuomo has historically expressed doubts about the usefulness of mobile betting in the Empire State.

Effect of Sportsbooks Overestimated?

Opinions are strongly divided on the subject of the financial effect betting revenue would on states’ budgets, mainly because sportsbooks are relatively low-margin businesses and tax is applied only to the realized profit. And according to some financial reports, three states from those that have introduced betting so far are far behind their estimates for revenue for the first fiscal year: some of these states, at one point were on course to three times lower, though they have since then improved slightly.

The overall trend shows an increasing number of states willing to legalize sports betting, despite of the fact that some of them face concerns about its implications on public health and how betting would affect tribal casinos.

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