Online Gambling in

New York

Sports betting in the state of New York is now legal and one of the biggest markets in the country is ready to make quite an entry in the online world. With a workable framework in place, a new legislation passed in 2019, allowing sports betting in the Empire State. Online betting may have to wait a little longer but just getting started in NY sounds very promising.

New York

There are currently no legal online gambling options in NY

Sports Betting in New York

Rather aptly, New York state has been described as the “800 pound Gorilla” of the sports betting sphere in the US.

In other words, everybody will feel the force of The Empire State once sports betting is introduced with a projected annual revenue of $150 million.

New York is projected to have the largest market in 2023, generating revenue of more than $700 million.

For now, late 2019 appears the most likely for getting the necessary legislation passed and expanding the gambling industry but there are numerous issues which need addressing between now and then.

NY Sports Betting Current Snapshot
  • Sports betting legislation not yet passed but workable framework a matter of time
  • Legislation may require bookmakers to pay a royalty to major sports leagues - currently being debated
  • Any bill will not include online betting initially
  • Political changes in NY likely to delay process further

Technically speaking, sports betting in New York has been permitted since 2013 under the New York Gaming Economic Development Act which legalized the industry and expanded the state's gambling landscape, following a referendum.

Four sportsbooks located upstate, Resorts World Catskills, The del Lago, Tioga Downs and Rivers Casino & Resort, are authorized to offer sports betting.

Though, none of those casinos actually do have sports betting due to the lack of regulations in place.

The taking down of PASPA in May 2018 now sees the whole NY in a position to legally offer single-game wagering to its patrons. Yet, the issue now lies in drafting a framework which suits all parties including gaming operators, bookies, major sports leagues and of course, the players, themselves. Ironing out the law so it’s clear and fair for everybody is where we are at.

Online Sports Betting New York

Will online sports betting be part of the bill?

It’s not thought any bill passed will feature online sports betting, at least not initially. The language used in the existing law is clear in stating that “an operator shall accept wagers on sports events only from persons physically present in the sports wagering lounge”.

This is in fact likewise for other states. From the first eight states that have rolled out sports betting so far, only players in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey can wager away from a brick and mortar casino.

Even so, this outlook is rather dated considering the digital world we now live in - mobile devices have now become an essential part of the offering for bookies looking to hone in on scores of new players attracted by the convenience of being able to wager from their phone.

Regulators would need to address a range of issues though. Not least how to please the NBA and MLB, top of the list of sports leagues pressing the lawmakers for the introduction of royalty fees and integrity fees.

It seems bringing sports betting to NY is enough work in itself at present, leaving the online side of things firmly on the back-burner for the time being.

Laws and Regulations

Laws and regulations for sports betting in NY:

- Sports betting technically legal but framework yet to be drafted

- “Integrity fee” required to be paid to major leagues

- Sports leagues need to prove how “integrity fee” is spent

- Wagering on college sports permitted

- Must be at least 21 to wager legally

It appears the prospective framework set to be put forward by NY regulators may well serve as a precedent for how other states go about introducing sports betting.

As part of the legislation, sportsbooks will be required to pay the major leagues an integrity fee for using their “product”, pushed hard by the NBA and MLB in particular.

Their view is based on the premise that without the major leagues there wouldn’t be a market for the sportsbooks, thus some kid of royalty seems only fair.

On the flip side of this deal, the leagues themselves would need to submit proof that the money will be spent on exactly what it’s intended for - initiatives to uphold the integrity of the league - before receiving a cut of the money made.

After all, the idea of an “integrity fee”, as it has been coined, was part of the initial argument put forward by various major leagues as compensation for having to monitor suspicious activity. Assurances are therefore needed that the money is going back into the betting industry in some capacity.

At the time of writing however, doubt has been cast over the idea. Casino operators claim that guaranteeing the integrity of each league should be down to the regulators, with a fee to the league deemed unnecessary. Typically, the operators have pointed out that the leagues stand to benefit from the industry from the extra exposure created by betting on their games.

Perhaps, though, the casino operators should consider how far down the road we’ve come in terms of the major leagues softening their stance on sports betting.

Let’s not forget, the major leagues had long opposed the idea of legalising the industry and were the driving force behind the PASPA law originally.

The debate is set to play out up until the framework is concluded early next year.


What is a sport betting integrity fee?

A levy placed on legal sports wagering. The NBA and MLB have been particularly forceful in pushing this through as a way of the leagues cutting themselves a slice of the very lucrative pie. The four major governing sport bodies; NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, will receive a fee from the sportsbooks.

How will it work?

Under the proposed legislation, sportsbooks would be required to pay 1% of the handle (total amount wagered by bettors) to each league, dependent on how much money is being staked.

Lucrative partnerships make a truce inevitable

Irrespective of the debate surrounding the proposed “integrity fee”, clubs, leagues, bookmakers and casinos continue to strike deals with one another in preparation for the inevitable introduction of the NY sports betting industry becoming fully regulated.

The deal struck between The New York Jets and 888 holdings is among the latest featuring a major sports team and a casino company.

The arrangement will serve the interests of both in exposure and advertising.

The Jets are also on board with MGM Resorts, the Las Vegas based casino becoming the official gaming partner of the club. Each will use to suit their respective needs via cross marketing but the partnership is a sign of what’s to come for sports fans across all four major leagues with the promise of a ‘one-of-a-kind entertainment experience’.

New Deals

In a further sign of the major leagues now coming around to the idea of sports betting, MGM Resorts have managed to sign betting partnerships with the NHL, NBA and WNBA, equating to figure close to $100 million.

The deal with the NHL will allow the casino to market its products and services to NHL fans.

This will be done via the typical media platforms and obtain access to NHL game data.

Meanwhile, Empire Resorts has linked up with UK-based major player, bet 365. Upon the enactment of a framework, the deal will see the two set up online and live sports betting at the Resorts World Catskills.

Already with a foothold in the industry already due to their link-up with Hard Rock Atlantic City, the deal will allow patrons of NY state able to wager at one of the world’s biggest bookmakers once the industry finally arrives in the Empire State.

Many betting operators will have taken note of a deal as huge as this too, increasing the likelihood of an extra competitive market in NY state. And there’s no end in sight to the jostling it seems.

The most recent agreement between the NBA and DFS provider FanDuel Group means the NBA is an official partner too.

In a real coup since Fan Duel already have a similar deal in place with the NHL too, the company can use the official game data of the league and bear logos on its sports betting products.

With yet more deals in the pipeline, all parties are clearly embracing the imminent arrival of the sports betting industry.

Even the NFL, long opposed to the idea of forming such partnerships and the last of the major American sports leagues without one, have come to realize the financial benefits on offer are too great to turn down, with plans to team up with a casino now a pressing matter.

When can we expect NY to authorise sports betting?

As alluded to, the proposed regulations need ironing out but all signs point towards a framework that works for all. The big question is nobody really knows when sports betting will be authorised.

If the state governor manages to include the legislation in the state budget, then we could see some movement.

However, if this isn’t the case, 2019 may be out of the question and early 2020 sounds a more realistic goal for sports betting to kickoff in NY.

The need to get the industry fully up and running fuelled further since NY sports bettors are stepping into neighbouring states New Jersey and Rhode Island to wager. Not only is NY losing out on tremendous revenue opportunities, they’re feeding rival states as well.

Sports Teams in NY

Whatever your favorite sport is, NY has a team. Of course, you wouldn’t expect anything less of arguably the most famous city in the US.

With teams across all four of the major leagues and then some, locals are spoiled with the number of teams to get behind.

Then there’s the 60 million tourists that visit the “Big Apple” determined to catch a Knicks game at Madison Square or to watch the Giants or Jets in action at MetLife stadium.

A quick glance at the number of sports teams/franchises based in NY only emphasizes the potential for sports betting in the state:

  • New York Giants
  • New York Jets
  • New York Knicks
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • New York Islanders
  • New York Rangers
  • New York Yankees
  • New York Mets
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Buffalo Bills

Baseball is regarded as the number one sports in New York due, in part, to sporting institutions and MLB sides NY Yankees and NY Mets; few can rival the Yankees’ status as the face of NY sports with their 27 World Series titles and 18 Championships.

Yet, the popularity of NFL across America is beginning to challenge this however.

The popularity of the New York Giants is forever growing and, together with the New York Jets, represent the state in the National Football League (NFL). Both share a fierce inner-city rivalry, as well as the same home ground, the MetLife stadium.

As for the sport most accessible and therefore played the most played, the city’s National Basketball Association (NBA) teams the NY Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are closely followed by NY residents.

Seeing the Knicks play live at Madison Square Garden, known as the “Mecca of basketball”, is also a must-do for the millions of tourists.

Up against the pulling power of the leagues and teams just mentioned, it’s easy to forget about Ice Hockey. But there’s the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders, both of whom play at the top level, the National Hockey League (NHL) and play in front of passionate crowds at Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, respectively.

Types of Wagers

NY sports betting is a case of when and not if, of that there is little doubt. But do you know how to go about wagering on your favourite sports team? The following are the different betting markets you’ll come across in your preferred sport.

Money Line

A great wager to start with for its simplicity. All you need to do is call the winner of a game. The odds offered represent the team’s chance of winning, set by the bookie who will take into account form, team selection issues (injuries, suspensions) and are presented with a monetary value and either a positive or minus preceding it.

The team with a minus value are the favourites to win, the number indicating how much someone needs to wager in order to win $100. Naturally, backing the favourite will require you to stake more money for a significant profit.

The other team with its positive value, are the underdogs and not expected to win. Here, the odds indicate how much you can win from every $100 wagered. The lower probability of the underdog winning leaves high odds and means you needn’t stake as much for a favourable return.

Best for: NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL

Point Spread

Similar to a Money Line bet in the sense you pick one of the two sides to come out on top. But this time, instead of picking an outright winner, you call the margin of victory. Games in which there is a huge gulf in talent between two teams often bring little value, making the money line too obvious and not worth playing. The point spread, a line set by the bookmaker, brings more value to said game.

As with the Money Line, the team assigned the negative value indicates who is expected to win. For example, let’s say Team A +22.5 and Team B - 22.5 points have the following point spreads (the .5 differentiates clearly between 22 points and 23 points).

If you bet on Team B, you require a winning margin of 23 points or more, to win the wager. A losing margin of 22 points or less, or a win, is needed for Team A to win the bet. This type of wager ensures the playing field is levelled out and brings value to a game that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Best for: NFL, NBA,

Totals (Over/Under)

This wager comes away from the scenario of betting on a winner entirely to focus on the combined score of both teams and whether it falls Over or Under a set line.

If the line is 66 points for instance, and you feel the game’s score will equate to a total that exceeds 66, then you’d bet Over (the line).

If you think the sides involved may err on the side of caution and play out a more defensive affair resulting in a combined score of less than 66, then you would bet Under.

Best for: NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB


This kind of bet sees you lay money on the final outcome of an event and tends to be played well in advance of it starting, with the view to winning a substantial amount should your prediction come right.

Typically, the market which yields the most interest is the winner of a league championship or tournament. But you can also bet on teams to finish in the play offs, end up being demoted or even the two teams to make the Superbowl final.

Futures can be applied to almost any competition across all of the major leagues and have been known to produce sizeable sums come the season’s end. Just make sure you don’t lose your bet slip in between!