Joseph Addabbo Jr., New York Senator and Chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, believes the state needs to implement mobile sports betting to stop millions of dollars being spent across state boundaries in New Jersey.
Addabbo attended the launch of New York’s first sports betting lounge on 16 June, and while he described the day as a step in the right direction, he does not think it's enough to stop his constituents from travelling across state borders to wager.
He said: "My constituents are 150 miles away from these casinos. They would sooner go to New Jersey, just out of convenience.
"They have told me so; they said it’s nice to have sports betting at New York casinos, but they would rather go to New Jersey."
In May, Kip Levin, COO of FanDuel, and Lindsay Slader, VP of Regulatory Affairs at GeoComply, both spoke at a hearing of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.
They said approximately 25% of New Jersey’s sports wagers came from New York residents.
With New Jersey eclipsing Nevada’s sportsbook handle for May, that meant roughly $79m of the Garden State’s sports wagers came from those living in New York.
Addabbo is eager to stop this trend and believes online sports betting is the way to do so.
He said: "We’re watching tens of millions of dollars go across the border to New Jersey and I keep telling the Governor’s people we have illegal activity going on here that we aren’t regulating – mobile sports betting.
"For our government to not regulate illegal activity is a missed opportunity."
Addabbo was speaking exclusively to Gaming America for its September/October edition. Click here to read the article in full when published.