NJ is scoring with sports betting, thanks to New Yorkers
Mon, Jan 7, 2019
Legalized sports betting in New Jersey is a big hit — with New Yorkers.
While the Empire State drags its heels on making sports gambling legal, New York residents such as Lou Cangiano are creating their own wheels of fortune by crossing the river to plunk down their bets — spurring a windfall for the Garden State.
“I stop right over the bridge,’’ Cangiano, 28, told The Post of his near-daily bicycle trip from his home in Harlem across the George Washington Bridge to the border of Fort Lee, NJ.
The fantasy-sports expert and coach said he then whips out his smartphone, activates his app for Draftkings — which along with FanDuel is among the more popular online sports-betting sites — and places his wagers.
The GPS identifies him as physically being in Jersey, allowing him to place his bets.
Then, he says, “I turn right back’’ and cycle the 35 minutes home. “It’s the not the most ideal situation [but] the minute you cross over to New Jersey, the app works.
“I hope sports betting gets to New York soon. It’s going to be extremely popular. There’s going to be a massive wave of people who would gamble.’’
New Jersey officials recorded $928 million in sports bets through November since legalizing the wagering in June — and at least 10 percent of the Draftkings and FanDuel customers participating are from New York, the companies said.
After payouts to winners, the casinos and online betting companies reported $73 million in gross revenue — leaving the state of New Jersey to rake in at least $8 million courtesy of an 8 percent tax on casino revenue and 13 percent levy on the online businesses’ take.
Backers of legalized sports betting in New York estimate that the Empire State could net between $10 million and $30 million a year from its own 8.25 percent tax on the entities.
Gov. Cuomo has said he is open to the idea of sports betting but did not list it as one of his top priorities when he laid out his 2019 legislative agenda last month.
“We continue to evaluate the issue and the actions of other states in order to decide the best way forward for New York,” a Cuomo spokesman, Rich Azzopardi, told The Post.
Sports betting can bring social maladies, critics warn.
New Jersey’s 1-800-Gambler hot line has reported an increase in calls from sports bettors seeking help for a gambling addiction since it legalized wagering on games.
But supporters in New York are disappointed with Albany’s foot-dragging.
“Everything is f–ked up here in New York. New Jersey acted a week after the Supreme Court ruling. It was a government that had its act together,” griped a New York gambling-industry source.
New York lawmakers vowed that sports betting would be addressed this year.
“It’s not a question of if we’re going to do sports betting, it’s when,” said state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens), the new chairman of the senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.
“Everybody is looking for a piece of sports betting. We want the revenue.”