Will New York Launch Online Poker, Slots, Blackjack & Other Casino Games?

Will New York Launch Online Poker, Slots, Blackjack & Other Casino Games? article feature image

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  • Does New York's mobile sports betting launch on Saturday include online poker, slot machines, blackjack and other casino games?
  • Four sportsbooks — including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers and Caesars — have launched Saturday morning in the country's fourth-most populous state.
  • Read about what that means for the online casino features on those betting platforms.

Starting at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, you'll be able to make online wagers on sports in New York.

Four sportsbooks will launch tomorrow — FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars and BetRivers. New York will become the most populous state to host mobile sports betting.

If you pre-register before Saturday, you'll receive $100 each in free bets at FanDuel and DraftKings. There will be plenty of post-registration promotions for first-time users, too.

Five other sportsbooks have been approved to hold bets in New York but have yet to launch — PointsBet, BetMGM, Resorts World, BallyBet and WynnBet. They're expected to launch in the next few weeks.

But Saturday's launch will not include iGaming — things like online blackjack, roulette, poker and other casino games. The legislation signed late last year only allows online sports betting.

It's bad news for the sportsbooks involved. Typically, casinos make more money and much higher margins on table games than they do on sports betting.

In Nevada, in-person casinos reported that sports gambling made up just 10% of their revenue last November despite a full month of the NFL, NBA, NHL, Premier League, Champions League and UFC.

While sports gambling accounted for $72 million in net revenue across Nevada casinos that month, blackjack accounted for almost $125 million, while penny slots generated over $328 million in profits.

In addition, each sportsbook will have to pay an inflated 51% tax on all profits to the state of New York. That's encouraging news to New York residents, who will see educational and social services — among other sectors — receive a buoy due to the increase in tax revenue.

For reference, sportsbooks in New Jersey only have to pay roughly 13% in taxes.

This is all to say that it's in these sportsbooks' best interests to help introduce new legislation that allows for mobile table games and slots in New York.

So When Will Online Gaming Come to New York?

The door is open for that possibility, but there's no firm timeline. Fortunately, there aren't as many hurdles as in some other states.

Gaming attorney Daniel Wallach highlighted why in a tweet in Dec. 2020 — New York does not need a constitutional amendment for iGaming if operator servers are at casinos. That's how it works in New Jersey, which launched iGaming in 2013.

If you can legalize online sports betting in New York without a constitutional amendment by having the servers placed at casinos, then it really isn’t any leap to online casino gaming. Same principle applies. See, e.g., New Jersey, whose entire iGaming regime operates that way. https://t.co/S5AKujBbOy

— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) December 22, 2020

New York lawmakers will likely see the potential of iGaming soon. Bettors lose far more from these online table games than they do at sports gambling.

There's more overhead involved in sports betting, and it's harder for customers to lose their money as quickly as you can at a Baccarat table or a slot machine.

As a result, the state of New York and sportsbooks would make a whole lot more money should mobile casino games be legalized. But there would be activist groups — and politicians — that push back on behalf of the public.

In the meantime, mobile sports gambling alone will make New York plenty of money, which will then be reallocated to the people through governmental services.

New York has roughly 2.1x the population of New Jersey — the state that generates the highest betting volume per month. In October, $1.3 billion was wagered in N.J.

Overall, New Jersey has generated nearly $200 million in tax revenue since legalization in 2018. It's generated almost $700M from iGaming since launching in 2013.

The Action Network ran an analysis that showed New York has missed out on about $1 billion in tax revenue by not legalizing sports betting when New Jersey did in 2018.

Industry experts estimate that roughly 20% of New Jersey's sports betting handle is from bettors from New York who migrate to make wagers.

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