New York launches first sportsbook but with considerable restrictions – and no online or mobile betting

The 1960s French Prime Minister, Charles de Gaulle, once said “How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?”


There are only 50 US states, but their legislative procedures are so complex, that the tiered delivery of sports betting legalisation by-state almost makes Mr. de Gaulle’s challenges seem quaint – and there’s plenty of “cheese” at stake.


For now, NY sports betting will be restricted to in-person wagering at a few upstate casinos, in addition to several tribal (Native American territory) venues – also upstate. Today, 16th July, saw the Rivers Casino as the first venue to offer sports betting in the state of New York, with the official opening of FanDuel’s Sportsbook at Tioga Downs casino resort happening tomorrow.


These select sports betting venues will likely have steady patronage over the rest of the summer – and will see a huge spike in visitors when the 2019 NFL season and the baseball World Series kick in in the autumn.


The New York State Assembly’s decision to not yet legalise either NYC, online or mobile sports betting is of course its prerogative. It is complex legislation to ratify. In the meantime, neighbouring states like New Jersey are reaping the benefits, as many New Yorkers place their bets online and on mobile devices when across (very thin) state lines.


There seems to be quite a lot happening behind the scenes with this one – and more to come. Read more here.