Is Sports Betting Now Legal in New York?

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It took the United States a while to embrace local sports betting. In fact, sports betting in general was considered illegal all in all states until 2018. There are only four states where sports betting, and these are Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana.

However, ever since the legalization of sports betting in some states has started, things changed pretty quickly. New Mexico and West Virginia followed the first states that allowed sports betting, and as of now, New York is the 10th state to legalize it.

Actually, New York has already allowed casinos to take sports bets since 2013. However, the law passed in that year would only be in effect once the Supreme Court removed the countrywide ban on sports betting.

It was in May of 2018 when the SC repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or PASPA.  A year later, on July 2019, the first sportsbook in New York opened up. 

While sports betting is already legal in New York, people seem to still lack the appetite for it. The main reason is that the only way you can legally wager on sports when you’re in New York is if you go to any of the four upstate casinos. 

These casinos are the following:

  • Del Lago Resort and Casino

  • Tioga Downs Casino

  • Resorts World Catskills

  • Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady

The problem with this is that these casinos are actually a few hours drive from New York City itself. It’s easy to understand why people wouldn’t really take much effort for this. Driving to Rivers Casino alone may take about two hours and a half. 

Since New York was mainly after the revenues that the city can get from sports betting alone, there has to be something that should make people want to wager on sports.

Obviously, the solution has to be something convenient, and what’s really missing is online sports betting.

Currently, sports gambling websites are still seen as illegal in the state of New York. And so even if sports betting is legal in the whole state, a lot of people are not quite into it just yet.

Now, it didn’t take long before the government realized that there has to be something that could make sports betting more popular in the area. What they really are aiming for is to mirror the success that New Jersey has.

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. is currently working on proving that there is a large market for sports betting. The New York State Gaming Commission is now seeking help from a research firm to conduct a gaming study.

The main purpose of this is for them to find out and evaluate the desire for expanded sports betting in the state. They want to be sure if the lack of online sports betting is the culprit of the low sports betting interest from New Yorkers.

New York is still waiting for online sportsbooks to finally be legal in the state. For the meantime, New Yorkers can still go to any of the upstate casinos to place their bets. For some who are just not up for a drive or a train ride to any of these casinos, they can still place their bets on online bookies off-shore.

For New Yorkers, placing bets on off-shore casinos and bookies are neither illegal nor legal. There’s just simply no exact law about this. However, doing so is just really risky. Bookies that are located outside the US are no longer under the jurisdiction of America.

It’s safe to say that if you encounter any problems with these bookies, it could be quite a headache. After all, the American laws simply don’t matter to them.

It may now be impossible for online sports betting to happen this year as it’s already July, but for now, what you can do is to go to New Jersey or Vegas instead. This is if you don’t want to have to deal with the risks of wagering through foreign bookies.

Now, when the time has come and New York finally opens its arms for online sports betting, its citizens can expect to wager on their favorite sports like football, baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, and even lacrosse.

The New York State Gaming Commission is still positive about online sports betting in their state. For now, what they are expecting is for it to happen in the near term. While that could mean a lot of things, hopefuls are thinking that it may happen in the next few years or so.


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