Study: New York Voters Split Over Online Sports Betting

By Jake Perper

February 19th, 2019 - 10:54am

New York is mulling over the possibility of making online sports betting legal in the state.

It has been a measured process but it seems as if not all the voters are all for the changes. A Sienna College poll based off 778 New York state registered voters ran from Feb. 7, 2019 indicated that the vote was exactly split at 44 percent for support, 44 percent for oppose and 12 percent that didn’t know/didn’t have an opinion.

Don Levy, the Director of the Siena College Research Institute:

“Voters, aware that the state is expected to soon allow sports betting at the four upstate commercial casinos, are evenly divided on broadening the sports betting law to allow for online betting.”

The Sienna Study

Voters aged 35-54 were in support of legalizing online sports betting at 55 percent while the voters aged 18-34 came in at 51 percent. Voters aged 55 and up opposed the bill at 58 percent. Individuals making over $100,000 income were in favor of online sports betting at 54 percent, while only 38 percent were against it.

Voters making anywhere between $50,000-$100,000 seemed undecided on the matter, with 48 percent opposing online sports betting and just 41 percent approving the move. The people making less in income gave less support for the bill with just 36 percent of people making less than $50,000 are in support.

2013 legislation gave four commercial casinos in upstate New York the ability to offer sports betting should federal law change. The change took hold in November, which allowed Del Lago Resort & Casino, Resorts World Catskills, Tioga Downs Casino and Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady to take sports bets.

The original legislation in 2013 never mentioned online and mobile sports gambling, so it remains illegal. The vote will have to be held in terms of allowing such in the New York state constitution. Casinos, horse tracks and OTB (Off-Track Betting) would also have to be altered in this updated legislation.

Sentiment for More Legalization

“The rules do not go far enough,” said Gary Greenberg of New Baltimore, a minority shareholder in Vernon Downs Racino and Raceway told Hudson Valley 360 on Feb. 1. “It limits sports betting to brick-and-mortar facilities. Online and mobile devices is where most of the sports betting is done.”

Greenberg went on to discuss the long process with the Hudson Valley 360.

“I worked on the 2013 constitutional amendment and pushed for its passage and I believe it does allow for online sports betting. The amendment process is a long process to go through and we are already losing revenue. This is a very competitive saturated market.”

In January, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged regulators in the State of the State address about the online sports betting issue.

“We invested in upstate casinos,” Cuomo said at the State of the State address. “Let’s authorize sports betting in the upstate casinos. It’s here, it’s a reality, and it will help generate activity in those casinos.”

If Cuomo and his staff want to do work and make sure the tough move to make online sports betting legal in the state of New York, they’ll have to take care of it soon. The state law in New York requires the budget for the bill to be in place by April 1, so time is ticking.

There is support from Cuomo and plenty of high ranked officials in New York, but will they get it done in time with less than two months left until budgets are due? We will see what happens, right now it is tricky because of the split in the voter process and the legalization processes.
Written By
Jake Perper

Jake Perper covers gambling news for He has been a sports writer for a decade, covering every level of sports.

He’s currently the lead scout for Prep Hoops Florida based out of Tampa, Florida and has covered the Chicago Bears for the... Read More

Jake Perper covers gambling news for He has been a sports writer for a decade, covering every level of sports.

He’s currently the lead scout for Prep Hoops Florida...

.. Read More