As New York Edges closer towards mobile sports betting, should Atlantic City be worried? 

by | Jun 17, 2021 | Sports


As part of their annual revenue bill, online sports betting has been made legal by the New York State Legislature, meaning that with certain restrictions, mobile sports betting within the New York area will now be allowed. As other states have begun to open their doors to legalized gaming, many within New York view the call to allow online sports betting as a long time coming.


What Does This Mean For New York?


Details of the exact agreement have yet to be released, so it is not 100% certain how the plan will be implemented. It is thought that there will be some limits to what can and can’t take place within online betting. However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been championing the movement to make sports betting legal – earlier this year Cuomo talked publicly about the need for New York to benefit financially from a deal to legalize sports betting being made. He mentioned how many states allow casinos to take care of their own operations, which brings in big money for companies but not necessarily the same for the state. Instead, he talked about a desire to run the operation in a similar way to the New York Lottery. This would mean that revenues from sports betting would go to the state. In order to make this happen, it is thought that only a handful of mobile betting operators would be given the go-ahead to operate sports betting – although they could license this out to other operators if they wish. Cuomo is keen on the move to bring money into New York as a whole rather than just to make one gaming company rich. 


The move to operate sports betting in this way is very different from other states, such as New Jersey who allow for lots of casinos, which some argue allows for good deals for consumers due to the amount of competition there is for their custom.


What Effect Will This Have on Land-Based Casinos within New York?


Currently, there are a handful of casinos that operate within New York that offer sports betting, although none of them have been allowed to offer it online so far. This has meant that people who wish to bet on sporting events in New York have had to visit a land-based casino to do so. 

Over recent years there has definitely been a shift in the way that people in other states place sporting bets following legislation, with an estimated 80% of New Jersey sporting bets now being placed online. Many predict a high take-up of online sports betting opportunities when they occur because it is something that is brand new to residents of New York.


Land-based casinos in other states are used to having to compete with the mobile market and it seems that those in New York will need to do the same.  This will mean making sure that they pull out all the stops to encourage people to visit them to place bets rather than be tempted to place them online.  This isn’t impossible, but it does mean that they’ll need to make sure they offer something above and beyond betting online. Making a trip to the bookmakers an experience is one way to do this – offering refreshments and other sources of entertainment are a great way to keep people visiting because no one is going to offer you an ice-cold beverage if you’re placing bets at home on your sofa from your mobile phone.


What Will New Jersey Bookmakers Hope Happens?


The activities in the NY state legislature have been monitored closely by NJ bookmakers, who will be keen to see what effect this has on their land-based casinos too. Currently, there is quite a pull for tourists visiting New York to take a separate trip to New Jersey to visit bookmakers in places such as Atlantic City. This allows tourists to see a different part of America as well as place any sporting bets they want. NJ bookmakers will be keen for the relaxation of New York sports betting laws not to affect this tourist trade, which results in revenue for their businesses every single year.


As the change has not yet happened it is impossible to guess what effect this will have, but bookmakers nearby to New York are likely to be expecting this to have some effect on their trade. New Jersey Bookmakers will be hoping that the legislation in New York doesn’t override anything that they are able to offer in New Jersey. They will be hopeful that the new laws will still allow them to offer something more to tourists and therefore people will still be encouraged to visit.


The Overall Future of Land-Based Casinos


With mobile betting popularity on the increase, the future of land-based casinos is already one that is being talked about. The events of the last 15 months certainly have caused the future of any physical establishment like this to be discussed. Although in many ways we are seeing an end to restrictions caused by Coronavirus, it is likely that the public won’t all be quick to visit places full of people again. This is definitely something that physical casinos should be keeping in mind, making sure that they do everything they can to make sure they are catering to the needs of their customers. 


It is estimated that 91% of all legal sports bets in New Jersey were placed online between January and October 2020; which means a lot of people are now used to placing bets online rather than needing to visit a physical building. In order for land-based casinos certainly have some thinking to do in terms of customer retention. This will be especially true once mobile sports betting is allowed in New York.


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