Increased Mobile Sports Betting in New York Results in Increased State Revenue Among Other Things

by Staff

Mobile sports betting has taken the gambling scene of New York by storm after the first mobile betting app launched back in January 2022. Since then, the state has been affected in various ways that may or may not have been anticipated by officials and residents. While an increase in revenue was certainly an obvious potential side-effect, the increases in problem gambling addictions and decreasing in-person sports wagering revenue may not have been foreseen.

Increase in State Revenue

In the fiscal year of 2022-23, taxes on mobile sports betting in New York yielded $727.4 million, exhibiting sustained growth into the first quarter of the current fiscal year, as reported by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. While this was certainly a well-foreseen outcome of legalizing mobile sports betting, it’s yet to be seen whether this will be sustainable or if it’s merely a surge of new players trying mobile betting as a new novelty.

Regardless, the $727.4 million figure is just over twice what was projected by the state. The state had guessed that collections for the 2022-23 fiscal year would amount to $357 million, making this quite a pleasant surprise. The state has credited this surge in revenue to the number of licenses they handed out to mobile sports betting providers and higher tax rates. The state’s comptroller’s office stated that the number will likely continue to grow, citing a 6.9% figure over the next four years.

Rise in Problem Gambling

While that number and the idea of increased revenue may be appealing, it’s not without its downsides. This surge in mobile sports betting correlated with a notable 26% increase in problem gambling-related calls to the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, according to the New York State Gaming Commission. This has also resulted in an additional $4 million being spent on support services over the last three years.

DiNapoli emphasized the need for heightened awareness regarding the impacts of mobile sports betting apps in New York, particularly among younger individuals, as the state continues to move forward with mobile sports betting in the future. The expansion of gaming in the state over recent years, notably through the accessibility of mobile betting apps, prompted DiNapoli to express concerns about the potential rise in problem gambling and addiction. The ease of use and 24/7 availability of mobile betting apps may contribute to these challenges that are currently beginning to beset the state.

The state’s Gaming Commission has been required to submit annual reports on the impact of mobile sports betting and gambling addiction to the governor and state legislative bodies in an effort to stay on top of any potential issues, but problem gambling habits aren’t the only thing that has been affected by the advent of mobile sports betting.

Declining In-Person Sports Wagering Revenue

In-person sports wagering has also been affected by the mobile sports betting industry. New York’s casinos saw a massive dip in revenue of 45% in the 2022-23 fiscal year thanks to the fact that bettors no longer have to visit a sportsbook or casino to place a bet. As mobile betting becomes more widespread, this drop in revenue is likely to continue.

The question remains: is this 45% drop in revenue a smaller overall number compared to the $727.4 million generated by mobile sports betting apps? While it’s hard to imagine that every dollar wagered on mobile betting apps was a dollar that would have been spent at a physical casino or sportsbook, it certainly is interesting to consider the percentage of total mobile revenue compared to the drop at physical casinos.

All in all, the betting scene in New York is definitely one to keep an eye on in the coming years as the mobile market continues to grow and affects the existing casinos located in the state—as well as the potential new casino located near Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

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