New York is now the national leader in mobile sports betting
Hello. Today we’re going to look at New York State’s rise to prominence in the newly legalized world of online sports betting (and how bettors used “Twosday” to play the numbers). Also, Mayor Eric Adams is being criticized for some appointments.
Since New York State opened online betting in early January, it has become the largest sports betting market in the country, overtaking Nevada, the country’s gambling mecca, and New Jersey, which has grabbed the top spot in mobile sports betting after legalizing the practice in 2018.
There have been more than $2 billion in betting in New York State so far, bringing in nearly $80 million in tax revenue, reports my colleague Jesse McKinley.
A quarter of the country’s mobile sports betting on the Super Bowl came from New York.
That demand was likely sharpened by a long wait for New York gamblers, who watched enviously as New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania legalized cellphone or laptop betting in recent years.
Since the state’s first four betting sites launched on Jan. 8, with the NFL playoffs starting a week later, more than two million unique player accounts have been used in the state, according to GeoComply, a company Canadian geolocation security.
“New Yorkers are avid sports fans and have been active sports bettors,” said Bill Miller, president of the American Gaming Association. “They just didn’t have a legal option. And now they do.
Why are New York gambling numbers so high?
Part of that is simply the size of the state. New York is the most populous of the 20 states that allow residents to gamble on their phones. Two potentially bigger players, Texas and California, are awaiting legalization.
Companies looking to attract punters to their platforms have offered generous short-term promotions, including supersized payouts, risk-free betting, and thousands of dollars in free bet credits deposited into player accounts.
Caesars Sportsbook, for its part, offered a dollar-to-dollar match on deposits to player accounts, up to $3,000, in addition to a $300 sign-up bonus.
“New Yorkers have always wanted to do this,” said Gary Pretlow, chairman of the New York State Assembly’s racing and betting committee. “And it’s happening now.”
Analysts say that once promotions dwindle or disappear in the coming months, betting activity in the state will likely decrease and level off, especially after college basketball’s March Madness playoffs end early. April.
A boon for tax revenue and a possible path to a casino in New York
State tax revenue from online betting has already exceeded projections. Players made more than $2.4 billion in bets through Feb. 13, including $472 million in the week ending with the Super Bowl, and betting platform operators are paying a tax rate 51% on gross gaming revenue.
State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., a Queens Democrat who chairs the Racing, Gaming and Betting Committee, is pushing for the expansion of new physical casinos with on-site betting parlors, a sustained effort by Governor Kathy Hochul. This scenario could pave the way for the opening of a casino in New York.
Mr Addabbo is also looking to expand betting at stadiums, racetracks and arenas. Randy Levine, the president of the New York Yankees, last week expressed his support for a betting kiosk at Yankee Stadium, like other professional sports franchises.
The surge in betting has addiction experts worried, who say the ease and speed of mobile sports betting can trap newcomers and tempt those trying to recover.
The state’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports said it has already seen a 46% increase in calls to its hotline in January, compared to the previous January.
On 02/22/22, how many people played these numbers? Too much.
In other betting news, bettors in New York yesterday were motivated by another factor: it was Twosday.
The nickname refers to the date yesterday, February 22, 2022, which written numerically would be 02/22/22, a palindrome of a date made up of both.
It was an attractive combination for numbers gamers – those who prefer lottery and draw games where they can select their own numbers. Number two was played early and often.
“When I opened at 8 a.m., all the numbers with two were already sold out,” said Fatool Patel, who sells lottery tickets and draws tickets at his newsstand on Broadway and West 39th Street.
Mr Patel said more than 50 customers had requested combinations of both but were too late to place their bets.
It was just as well. The winning numbers announced at noon did not include a combination of twos. Still, some customers have asked to bet their streaks for the Wednesday draw. And soon it started to sell.
Dunia Mars, an accountant who works nearby, intervened with Mr Patel, who told her the 2222 combination for Wednesday’s Win-4 was already sold out. So Ms. Mars played 222 on her pick-3 ticket.
“Sometimes you hit the big number the next day,” she said. “It’s worth trying.”
There is a chance of showers earlier in the day, with temperatures in the mid 60s. The evening is mostly cloudy, with temperatures dropping to the low 30s.
Valid until March 2 (Ash Wednesday).
The latest news from New York
Recent mayoral nominations anger LGBTQ leaders
Mayor Eric Adams is drawing increasing criticism for appointing several people to city posts who have expressed opposition to same-sex marriage.
The new administration of New York City Mayor Eric Adams
LGBTQ groups plan to demonstrate on the steps of City Hall on Thursday.
To help run his office of faith and community partnerships, Mr. Adams appointed Fernando Cabrera, a former Bronx city councilor, and Gilford Monrose, a Brooklyn pastor, who have both said they oppose same-sex marriage.
The mayor has also appointed Erick Salgado, a pastor who has expressed opposition to same-sex marriage, as assistant commissioner for external affairs with the mayor’s office of immigration affairs, my colleague Dana Rubinstein reported.
Many gay and lesbian leaders, many of whom have been Adams supporters, have criticized him for his appointments.
“These are all known homophobes,” said Cathy Marino-Thomas, chair of the board of the advocacy group Equality New York. She’s helping organize Thursday’s protest.
Christine Quinn, who is gay and previously served as New York City Council President, said in reference to Mr. Cabrera and Mr. Salgado: “This is insane; I don’t understand why a mayor who has a good record on LGBT issues would appoint two people who have horrible records.
In a statement, Mr Adams described himself as a ‘man of faith’ and said he had always stood for ‘tolerance and inclusion’.
Mr. Adams twice voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the New York State Senate, even delivering a nine-minute speech in favor of it in 2009.
Outrage over Mr. Cabrera dates back to at least 2014, when he represented the Bronx on city council. He visited Uganda and appeared on a video hailing Uganda’s intolerance for same-sex marriage as sound “Christian decision-making for the nation” as well as banning abortions and “things that Christians really defend”.
Mr. Salgado said in a statement through the mayor’s office: “My views have evolved as society has evolved.” Mr. Monrose referred requests for comment to City Hall.
A spokesperson for the mayor noted that on Monday evening Mr Cabrera apologized on Facebook for “the undue pain and suffering my past remarks have caused the LGBTQ+ community”.
What we read
I was on the line at the customer service counter of a Gristede’s on Second Avenue. An older woman in front of me had 16 jars of spaghetti sauce in her basket. She was asking the clerk to adjust the price because it was not scanned correctly at checkout.