SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – You can now wager on your favorite sports team from the comfort of your phone. New York is the latest state to implement mobile sports betting, giving bettors an opportunity to gamble outside of a casino.
Mobile sports betting launched statewide at 9 a.m. Saturday, “This is obviously the dawn of a different day because we have the retail sportsbook in our pocket,” said Andrew Sneyd, the SVP of Brand Marketing at FanDuel.
Four online platforms have been given the green light to operate by the New York State Gaming Commission. This includes DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, and Rush Street Interactive, which owns BetRivers, the sportsbook used by Rivers Casino.
“We are extremely excited to make history once again. We’re operating in about 11 states in the United States, but New York is the largest population and most exciting market we’ve launched into a date,” said Richard Schwartz, the CEO of BetRivers.
Those in the industry say it’s a great time for the state to launch, especially with the College Football Playoff National Championship and NFL playoffs on the horizon, “It’s an incredibly busy time for us. It’s when we see a lot of people that are quite frankly getting into sports betting,” said Sneyd.
Mobile sports betting is expected to bring in big money for the state. Lawmakers anticipate the industry can generate around $500 million in annual tax revenue. The launch was commended by The Business Council of New York State, which released a statement, in part:
“New York will no longer be at a competitive disadvantage but instead able to generate the tax benefits from this thriving industry.”The Business Council of New York State
But, with ease of access comes fears of potential abuse, “Pennsylvania, when they implemented mobile sports betting, they had a 285% increase in calls to their helpline,” said Brandy Richards, team leader for the Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center, adding they’re preparing for increased demand.
Richards says problem gambling is typically a “hidden addiction”, but notes there are warning signs, “Finding the need to place bets more frequently if they’re constantly thinking about gambling, it’s certainly an opportunity to reach out for help, and the great news is there are services available all throughout New York State.”
She says awareness and resources are vital, noting that funding for the New York Council of Problem Gambling allows them to offset the cost of gambling addiction treatment.