Home » NY Sports Betting: Recent Changes to the Budget | Point Spreads

NY Sports Betting: Recent Changes to the Budget | Point Spreads

Two major NY sports betting-related changes were made to the New York State budget last weekend prior to its finalization. First, language authorizing bettors to place proposition wagers — commonly known as prop bets — on New York State sports award futures was removed from the budget as well as language authorizing 1% of state sports betting tax revenue being used for problem gambling services, like gambling addiction support.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who has been a longtime advocate for sports betting legalization in the state, said that each item will be revisited by state lawmakers during the post-budget legislative session. Addabbo was particularly surprised by the exclusion of the revenue support for problem gambling services because that money was a pretty small chunk of the state’s gambling proceeds and would be used to help people struggling with gambling-related issues. The prop bet removal from the best betting sites was less surprising.

As Addabbo noted, the exclusion of these two provisions from the finalized budget doesn’t mean that they are completely off the table for the long-term, just that they won’t be part of the 2024-2025 fiscal year which, in New York is from April 1st, 2024 to March 31st, 2025.

It is certainly possible that either provision, or even both of them, are included in the next budget. A lot of that determination could be based on whether or not betting revenues in the state continue to grow – because if they continue at the same pace, then it would be tough for anyone to argue against increasing the amount of revenue going toward problem gambling services.

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The Prop Bet Language

Currently, bettors in New York cannot place prop bets on athletes to win season-long awards like the Cy Young, MVP or Rookie of the Year. The thinking behind that prohibition is that those awards are not strictly decided on the field as they are voted on by writers, journalists and broadcasters who, in theory, can have their votes bought out by unsavory characters. So, NY sports betting doesn’t allow legal sportsbooks to take wagers on those awards for fear of impropriety.

However, many states allow betting on award races and New York is certainly losing out on a significant revenue stream by not letting bettors wager on these races. There was discussion over removing the ban and allowing award prop betting in New York for this budgetary cycle but that language was removed from the budget prior to its signature by Governor Kathy Hochul. If you want to bet on these awards on betting apps, you’ll have to wait for next season or head over to a different state that allows such bets.

Addabbo said he wasn’t particularly surprised at the exclusion of the prop bet language even though he supports bettors in the state being able to wager on awards. He said that he’s still confident the permissive language will be included in the next go-around of the budget. There has been no legitimate evidence that award voting has been tainted in any way since the widespread legalization of online sports betting in the United States so the concern over betting on said award is more speculative and paranoid than it is based in reality.

The Problem Gambling Revenue Share Language

However, Addabbo was surprised that the NY sports betting provision allowing for 1% of state betting revenue being used to fund problem gambling services didn’t make the cut. Right now, around $6 million of online sports betting revenue is diverted to help people suffering from problem gambling and gambling-related issues. Had the 1% language made the budget, that amount would have risen to $9 million for this fiscal year because the state collected nearly $900 million in online gambling revenue between April 2023 an March 2024.

There was a hope that the extra revenue could establish a 24-7 hotline or a peer-to-peer service regarding problem gambling in the hopes of limiting potential issues as they arise or just to give people suffering from problem gambling a person to talk to or get advice/help from whenever they wanted or needed it. A big push for this language came from the New York Council on Problem Gambling, which obviously could use a 50% increase in funding from the state’s huge gambling-related revenue.

Considering how much money the state and sportsbook operators bring in on parlay bets and other wagers, it is a little surprising that such a relatively low amount of money couldn’t be authorized to go toward such a noble and well-meaning cause, especially when the revenue from gambling being high is, in a way, the root of why there is so many people dealing with problem gambling. Addabbo said that this language will remain on the table in the post-budget session, like the award prop bet approval, and that it certainly can be re-considered and potentially added back into the budget going forward.

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