New York Gives Go Ahead for Sports Betting From Phones, Expects $500M in Tax Revenue

New York's gaming commission announced Thursday that four of the nine sports betting operators in the state can begin offering mobile bets as early as this Saturday, a long-awaited move state officials have estimated could bring the state up to $500 million in new tax revenue.

Approval was given to Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, Fanduel and Rush Street Interactive, while another five betting marketplaces are still working to meet statutory and regulatory requirements and will be approved as soon as those are met, the New York State Gaming Commission announced.

In-person sports betting was allowed in several casinos in the state in 2019 following the 2018 Supreme Court decision that removed a 1990s federal law against sports betting, and the massive market for mobile betting has been in the works since. The in-person gambling in New York casinos has averaged under $4 million per year in tax revenue, according to The Action Network, a sports betting website.

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law in April after some hesitation, and the state gaming commission said the four operators currently approved can accept bets as early as 9 a.m. Saturday morning, well before the start of the final week of regular season NFL games.

"I think it's great that four of the nine sportsbooks are getting in before the start of the NFL playoffs is tremendous," New York state Senator Joseph Addabbo told The Action Network on Thursday. "And given their experience in other states, I think the others will follow quickly."

All four of the sportsbooks have said they will be ready for bets to start coming in Saturday morning, according to The Action Network.

New York, Mobile Sports Betting, Gambling
New York's gaming commission announced Thursday that four of nine sports betting providers will be able to accept mobile bets, placed via phones or computers outside casinos, starting Saturday morning. Above, the fantasy sports website DraftKings is shown on October 16, 2015, in Chicago. Scott Olson/Getty Images

The New York State Gaming Commission said the other five awaiting approval are Wynn Interactive, Resorts World, BallyBet, BetMGM and PointsBet.

Addabbo, a longtime advocate for legal sports gambling, called the announcement Thursday "great news for New York in terms of revenue, new funding for education, addiction programs and youth sports, as well as new jobs," according to the Associated Press.

Since 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down the 1990s federal law in a case brought by then-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, about half of U.S. states have implemented some form of legal sports gambling.

New York has seen neighboring New Jersey and other nearby states, most recently Connecticut, implement sports betting laws that lured away gamblers and revenue.

New Jersey has surpassed Nevada as the top sports betting market in the U.S. Through the end of November, New Jersey's nine casinos and the three horse tracks that take sports bets have taken nearly $10 billion in wagers, including online wagers. Industry experts have estimated as much as 25% to 30% of sports bets in New Jersey are placed by New York residents.

Connecticut began accepting sports wagers in October, and Pennsylvania has had legal sports betting since late 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.