- Legal States
Erik Gibbs October 11, 2021 3 min read
The George Washington Bridge in New York Has Its Own “Sportsbook”
New Yorkers have always been known for their resiliency and determination. If they want it, they figure out how to get it. New York has been making progress with its expected launch of online sports betting, but the process is taking longer than anticipated. Instead of patiently waiting, however, sports betting fans have figured out an ingenious solution that allows them to legal place wagers. Enter the George Washington Bridge makeshift sportsbook lounge.
New York Gets Its First Online Sportsbook Lounge
New York lawmakers officially legalized online sports betting this past May, but the rollout is taking a while. There have been several steps in the process that are taking more time than expected, but New Yorkers intent on placing their bets have figured out a way – legally – to lay down some money on the action. According to a report by the New York Times, they are flocking to the George Washington Bridge, which has become somewhat of an impromptu sports betting lounge.
The bridge, which spans the Hudson River, connects New York and New Jersey. Crossing over by bike means not having to pay the $16 toll vehicles have to pay, so bikers are now regularly hitting the path from places like Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, pedaling toward Jersey until geofenced sports betting apps are finally in the open. The bettors, connecting to servers that cover the Fort Lee, NJ, area, are then able to place their bets.
New Yorkers Continue to Deliver Revenue to NJ
The practice of using the George Washington Bridge as a makeshift sports betting lounge isn’t an entirely new concept – the New York Times explains that it has been happening since 2018. That was when NJ became the first state to introduce legalized sports betting following the repeal of PASPA, but, since then, more New Yorkers are taking advantage of the alternate solution. The number of biking bettors from the Big Apple increased last year during the COVID-19 pandemic and still isn’t slowing down. Exact figures of how many make the trek each week, however, aren’t known.
That ultimately means that New Jersey is able to pick up a considerable amount of revenue from sports betting as New York continues to only make baby steps toward a full online gambling launch. For three years, New Jersey has welcomed these bettors and their money, without having to offer any type of additional infrastructure. All that’s missing is a George Washington Bridge bar with recliners and massive TV screens to make the sportsbook experience more complete.