Can New York's Sports Betting Take Off Without a Mobile Option?

Elana K. - August 5, 2019

Sports betting is now legal at New York's upstate casinos, but mobile betting is not allowed. Will New Yorkers travel three hours to upstate New York to place their bets?

On Tuesday, Rivers Casino & Resort in upstate New York accepted the state’s first wager on a sports match after the casino received approval from the State Gaming Commission. However, unlike its neighbor New Jersey, which offers in-person and mobile sports betting, New York does not offer a mobile betting option. 

Senator Joe Addabbo claims that the state is losing out on tens of millions of dollars by not offering mobile sports betting since New Yorkers can easily go to New Jersey to place their bets.

“I’m glad we’re breaking grounds on sports betting,” he said, “but it would’ve been nice to have the mobile component. But it’s a baby step.”

At this point, New York governor Andrew Cuomo is against mobile sports betting and claims that the state would need to change its constitution to allow it. Overall, Cuomo is “not a great fan of the gaming industry,” but recognizes that the demand for it is real.

Where Can You Gamble?

Currently, there are two New York casinos accepting sports bets: Rivers Casino & Resort and Tioga Downs. Turning Stone Resort Casino and Point Place Casino are scheduled to start accepting sports bets on August 1, while 4 others don’t have a firm date in place but hope to open their doors sometime this summer.

Bettors will be able to place wagers on pro football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, and more, but they are not allowed to bet on New York college teams or on collegiate sporting events that take place in the state. Types of bets include straight bets, parlays, totals, and in-game bets.

Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady has created a sportsbook betting lounge that has room for 80 people, including a VIP area, 14 kiosks, and six betting windows. The question is now, will New Yorkers travel three hours to get there, or will they make the much shorter trip to New Jersey and gamble by phone?

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