Mobile Sports Betting in New York Won’t Hurt Nevada: Casino Experts

Posted on: January 7, 2021, 02:42h. 

Last updated on: January 7, 2021, 02:53h.

The plan by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to allow mobile sports betting in the Empire State won’t have a negative impact on Nevada casinos, gaming experts said.

Mobile sports betting
A gambler uses a mobile device to examine the odds in an NFL game. Legislation is expected this year in New York to legalize mobile sports betting. (Image: CBS New York)

Josh Swissman, of Las Vegas-based The Strategy Organization, said the Nevada experience is “much bigger” for tourists than just sports betting.

People are still going to want to come to Vegas for the experience Vegas offered before the pandemic, and the experience it will offer after the pandemic,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  “Thats never going to go away.”

Cuomo is expected at Monday’s State of the State address to lay out details of his proposal regarding online sports betting.

Mobile sports-betting firms wanting to operate in New York would need to be in partnership with an existing commercial casino, according to the New York Post. These upstate commercial casinos are Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, Rivers Casino in Schenectady, del Lago Casino in Tyre near Rochester, and Tioga Downs near Binghamton.

At the opening of the 2021 legislative session this week, state Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) expressed support for mobile sports betting.

We need to create new revenue streams by legalizing mobile sports betting and marijuana,” she said.

New Jersey Impact

Las Vegas has struggled to attract tourists during the pandemic, especially during slow midweek days. Some hotel-casinos are temporarily closed during the middle of the week because of low consumer demand.

But any change in New York’s policy will have more impact on New Jersey than Nevada, industry experts said. 

Proponents of mobile sports betting in New York note that residents are driving the short distance into neighboring New Jersey to place mobile sports bets. New Jersey collected $50.6 million in sports-betting revenue in November.

Brendan Bussmann, of Global Market Advisors, told the Review-Journal that New Jersey “would be the most impacted out of the gate” by the New York plan.

You can go watch somebody cross a ferry from New York to New Jersey, and they pull their phone out after they cross the Hudson and start placing bets,” he said.

Sports-Wagering Debate 

With a budget deficit in the billions, New York could use the tax revenue being lost to New Jersey, according to mobile sports-betting proponents.

On CNBC this week, commentator Jim Cramer said he expects more states to allow online sports betting. Right now, states like New York are losing tax revenue to neighboring states that allow mobile sports betting.

You can’t let a couple of states have all the money,” Cramer said.

Other states, including Louisiana, are expected at upcoming legislative sessions to address the issue of mobile-sports wagering.

In November, Louisiana voters in 55 of 64 parishes approved sports betting within the borders of their parish. 

However, the Louisiana legislature in April will have to determine whether sports betting in these parishes can be done on smartphones or only in person at a sportsbook inside a casino. Louisiana is home to 15 riverboat casinos across the state and a land-based resort in New Orleans.