Since the legalization of online sports betting in New York began back in January, the news has been filled with success story after success story.
Before January, sports betting was only allowed in specific licensed retail venues. However, once the bill to allow sports betting via online platforms such as mobile sports betting apps was passed, it opened up a whole new world.
The widespread accessibility of sports betting online has seen bets handled jump from $21 million to around $1.7 billion in the space of a mere month. That’s an increase of a whopping 7,995.24%! In addition, with it being only the first year that sports betting has been legalized, numbers are only expected to grow.
It’s no surprise then that other states don’t want to be left behind, stuck in the shadows of New York, which has seen record numbers of bets handled, as record figures of tax raised have been released.
Which States Are Looking to Follow Suit?
North Carolina is one state, in particular, that has been monitoring the situation in New York closely. As it stands, sports betting is legal in the state but only at two physical locations on Native American land near its border with Tennessee.
In fact, they have already begun the process of legalizing online sports betting, but have been trying to speed up the process given the extent of the successes New York has experienced. The State Senate officially passed a bill last year, which looked to legalize online and mobile sports betting.
SB 688 was put forward with the idea to allow up to 12 operators to launch their own sportsbook websites and apps, to be licensed by the N.C. Lottery Commission. Whilst it is unknown who these 12 operators will be, those who have put their names forward will be happy that a house committee passed the bill in the initial stages, and now just waits for further discussions in an upcoming session.
Other states that are also looking to legalize sports betting include Maine, which has already passed bills to make in-person and online betting legal, as of May 2022. In addition, Florida is also looking ahead to change legislation. This will be significant because sports betting was briefly legal there in November 2021 but shut down operations shortly thereafter, leaving the situation up in the air.
One other state that is looking to legalize sports betting ASAP is Ohio. Technically, within the state, sports betting has been legal since December 2021. Nonetheless, the state is still in the preliminary stages and only accepting applications from sportsbooks at the moment. There is no conclusive indication of when it will start, though it has been suggested that sports betting could be coming later in 2022, around the start of the new NFL season in order to avoid starting during the seasonal slowdown.
Why Are States Looking to Follow New York?
New York has benefited in many ways since legalizing online sports betting. Legalized sports betting has helped lower unemployment rates by creating new jobs and has, as mentioned, increased tax revenues. Also, the successes New York has achieved have put it in the spotlight of the media, and this has given the state a lot of coverage that has attracted many new visitors to the state.
Legalizing sports betting will also combat crime and investment needed to police crime such as illegal sports betting operations. The number of people who bet with illegal offshore-based bookmakers is phenomenal, and as they don’t pay taxes, this leaves the state out of pocket twice.
It will also prevent people from going over state borders to place bets as well. If legalized, people will stay within the state, which will begin to benefit from having their own legal operations.
The only real question is how closely these new states will follow New York’s set-up, which has come under much scrutiny for its industry-high tax rate. But the benefit they have of watching how New York has performed means they can learn from the mistakes New York makes to perfect their own legislature.