Yet again, Sen. Joe Addabbo has called for the legalization of interactive betting in New York State, citing strong economic numbers to argue his case.
Legalize Interactive Betting, Says Sen. Addabbo – Again
Is New York leaving money on the table by not legalizing online sports betting? This may be the case according to State Senator Joe Addabbo, a long-time proponent of all things gambling, who has been pushing for the legalization of interactive gambling in New York State since the 2010s and before.
Yet, he has faced stern opposition from lawmakers who fear that the benefit of legalizing sports betting would not justify the “human cost,” of doing so. This sentiment is shared by Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, who responded the same way about a newly-proposed casino in the state.
Right now, online sports betting is legal in ten states and the District of Columbia, but New York is not one of them. Sen Addabbo continues to support the cause of legalizing online betting, and in a recent interview with CNY Central, he used a car simile to make his point.
“We are that disabled car in the left-hand lane,” the senator argued, “and New Jersey is that Lamborghini passing us rather quickly.” He is right about the Garden State’s ability to dwarf others when it comes to sports betting handle.
Legalized in 2018, sports betting in New Jersey is setting new records in 2020, and this trend is likely to continue as the market has not fully matured just yet. The senator seems confident that a gaping $15 trillion deficit can benefit greatly from having interactive wagering brought online.
New Yorkers Spending a Pretty Betting Penny in New Jersey
In 2019, the four casinos in New York generated $7.5 million in sports betting revenue, but New Jersey alone posted $181 million through November alone. Sen. Addabbo believes many residents of New York have been traveling to New Jersey to place a bet.
He has cited a report according to which, “some $837 million of New York’s money is going to New Jersey.” However, on top of the economic benefits, there are genuine societal qualms.
Jon Crandall, who is working at the Central Problem Gambling Resource Center as a program manager, has cautioned that “making gambling more convenient” can be linked to a higher incidence of abuse and problems.
“Now people need to go to a sports lounge to place a bet, now if you’re able to do that from your home, that may open it up for others to participate, and that could be a problem,” he cautioned.
Yet, he misses one glaring detail. People are already betting in the unregulated markets. A refusal to regulate sports betting in full makes for a dangerous paradox.
Help programs report a higher incidence of addiction, but this comes out of the unregulated markets, where consumer well-being is not a primary concern for many of the companies operating there.