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New York Senator eyes legal mobile sports betting by early 2022


New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo has set out his aims for the US state to launch a legal sports wagering market by early next year, in time for the 2022 edition of the National Football League’s Super Bowl.

Last week, New York took a step closer to regulated mobile betting after a bill for the state’s FY 2022 budget contained provisions for legal mobile sports betting, revealing a $25m license fee and bidding process for potential licensees.

Addabbo is a staunch supporter of mobile sports wagering in the state and has been lobbying for this to be legalized for a number of years. Consumers in New York are currently limited to land-based betting at four of the state’s casinos.

With the inclusion of mobile wagering provisions in the budget bill, Addabbo said he is hopeful this will lead to legalization within the next year, potentially before the NFL’s showpiece Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.

The state’s Gaming Commission is set to start the creation of the mobile sports betting process and begin to accept bids from sportsbook providers this July.

“Legalizing mobile sports betting will bring in the funds needed by the state that will go towards funding our education system, problem gambling awareness programs and creating jobs,” Addabbo said.

“While we already have in-person legal sports betting here in New York, it is clear that the states that allow for mobile wagering are far more successful.”

Addabbo reiterated that the legalization of mobile betting would help generate more revenue for the state, saying consumers are currently forced to travel to other states or place bets with offshore, unlicensed operators when it comes to mobile betting, meaning New York misses out on income.

“When New York residents travel to other states or participate in the illegal market to place mobile sports wagers, there is no way for us to identify and help them should they have a gaming addiction,” Addabbo said.

“By safely legalizing mobile sports betting, New York State can better recognize and assist those with a gambling problem, with the help of the over one dozen safeguards and measures written into the bill’s language.”

Addabbo also said legalization would help address an economic crisis in the state caused by novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

The legislator added that it is estimated New York would bring in approximately $99m from mobile sports betting in the 2021-22 financial year, rising to $357m in 2022-23, eventually exceeding $500m in 2025-26. These funds will mostly go toward education.

“I am hopeful that with the passage of legalized mobile sports betting, New York will soon begin to reap the benefits in terms of revenue, educational funding, addiction programs and jobs,” Addabbo said.