By, Christine Nappi and Katie Heneghan, Senior Writers
The New York State Gaming Commission gave sports betters the green light to begin using online platforms such as Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings and BetRivers to place bets on Jan. 8, 2022. New Yorkers can now place mobile bets from the comfort of their own home, or anywhere else in the state, instead of having to travel to in-person betting locations.
Students at Manhattan College are trying their hand at sports gambling. Senior management major Gabriel Castillo jumped on the opportunity to make a bit of cash via Caeser’s Sportsbook. He was successful when he first began placing bets, and describes how exciting it was to see wagers pay off.
“I was able to win for only the first week I started betting on sports [but] the first week was so much fun because I won almost every single day,” Castillo said.
New York is the 18th state to legalize online sports gambling. The move to legalize it comes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban in 2018, according to an article from The Gothamist. Ever since then, policy makers have been eager to permit online sports gambling because it would draw in massive revenue streams for the state.
The revenue from online sports betting is taxed at 51percent. According to Fox News, New York state generated $1.7 billion dollars in wagers in January alone, and over $70 million in tax revenue during the first month. According to a release from Governor Kathy Hochul’s office, this is more than any state has ever reported for one month of sports betting. The revenue from online sports betting will be going toward education, youth sports programs, property tax relief, and gambling treatment services, as per Action Network.
Professor of Law at Manhattan College Patricia Sheridan, J.D., describes how the legalization of sports betting in New York is justified because it is going to be highly regulated. When placing bets, betters are tracked to ensure they are physically located in New York and their bets are processed in the state. This is how betters and sportsbooks keep the wager contract within the state.
“The better has to be physically located in New York, and I believe that the acceptance of the bet is taking place at a physical server that somehow has to be located in New York, and that’s how they’re keeping it within the state lines,” Sheridan said. “Normally online activities can cross state lines [but] we couldn’t have that because then that would implicate federal law. So I think they got creative on how they kept that gambling or wager contract to be kept within the state.”
Up until this point, the New York lottery, horse racing, and betting at casinos were permitted in the state and exempt from New York’s gambling ban. To work around regulations, lawmakers made the case that online sports wagers would be re-routed to computer servers at the state’s private casino’s.
However, students at Manhattan are facing one major drawback with online sports betting. It is still illegal to place bets on New York state-based college teams, meaning Jasper nation can’t place bets on their college’s athletic competition. Betters can place wagers on non-New York college teams, except if that team is playing in New York. Other states such as New Jersey and Virginia also have this betting regulation.
Sheridan, describes how this rule is to prevent player misconduct, such as throwing games or shaving points.
“If you are within New York State you cannot bet on Manhattan College because the better, can’t bet on a New York [college] team,” Sheridan said. “And the idea is that the collegiate sports they kind of want to prevent any sort of bad influence or any sort of potential for abuse or with players and several other states have that model as well.”
Despite this regulation, students are still finding betting opportunities in other areas.
“My favorite sport to bet on is Football because I have the best feel for the game and because the games only happen once a week it is easier to keep track of,” said Senior Joseph Walsh.
The legalization of sports betting lined up perfectly with the start of a historic series of NFL Playoff games and Super Bowl LVI on Feb.13.
The matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals drove many to sportsbooks across the country. Many MC students took the opportunity to capitalize on the new gambling laws.
Walsh describes his experience betting saying, “I was never really interested in gambling before, but then all of the big sports betting companies came out with great deals and promotions – that really brought me in,”.
As Castillo describes, betting adds to the excitement of professional sports consumption. Many enjoy the risk, as well as the potential reward.
“Betting on the game adds a significant layer of excitement to the game because it makes you want to be engaged during the game from start to finish,” Castillo said. “Also, it makes the game so much more entertaining because you know that something is on the line.”
According to GeoComply, a software company that focuses on geolocation security, there are currently 1.2 million active gambling accounts with 870,000 unique players. Since Jan. 8, GeoComply records that 87.8 percent of players are brand new to regulated sports betting. Walsh is one of these players, and describes that he was “never interested” in sports betting before the legalization.
Sheridan is concerned that the legalization could encourage people like Walsh to engage in gambling when they wouldn’t have otherwise. As she describes, gambling on sports is now more accessible with an online option, because people don’t need to travel anywhere to place a bet. Additionally, When sportsbooks give a free credit to bettors she describes that it encourages them to try their hand at betting, which could be problematic.
“They’re just enticing more people that wouldn’t have otherwise started gambling,” Sheridan said. “That’s what I’m afraid of, [the legalization of online sports gambling in New York] is opening up this concept to a lot of people who I don’t think otherwise would have even engaged in it, so I do worry about that.”