New Poll Says NY Online Sports Betting Is Not A Slam Dunk With Voters

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on February 12, 2019 - Last Updated on December 30, 2021

With New York sports betting slowly becoming a reality, it appears not all voters in the state feel the same way about betting from their smartphones.

According to a new Siena College poll, exactly 44 percent of voters support and opposethe idea of online sports betting. The other 12 percent said they had no opinion.

For those out of the loop, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) recently gave approval to preliminary rules and regulations to allow sports betting at the state’s four commercial casinos.

Polling results

The poll, conducted by phone Feb. 4 to 7, surveyed 778 registered voters and has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points.

Voters were asked:

“The state is expected to soon allow sports betting at the four upstate commercial casinos. Do you support or oppose broadening the sports betting law to allow for online sports betting?”


“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,” said Don Levy, Director of the Siena College Research Institute.

Interesting takeaways

There are some that associate sports betting with the age-old saying, “you have to bet big to win big.”

  • Results found the issue does not have much difference by party affiliation: 45 percent of Republicans favored the idea of online sports betting while 42 percent opposed the idea. On the flipside, 45 percent of Democrats were against the idea with 43 percent for and 12 percent undecided.
  • The poll found voters with a household income greater than $100,000 were 54 percent in support of online sports betting, while 38 percent were opposed, and eight percent had no opinion.
  • Additionally, 51 percent of voters ages 18-34, as well as 55 percent of voters ages 35-54 all supported the idea of lawmakers broadening the law to allow online wagering.

Work left to be done

Last month, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo made sports betting part of his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. However, Cuomo has recently dialed back on his initial projections due to slipping tax revenues.

Rules and regulations to govern sports betting are currently in 60-review period.

Senator Joseph Addabbo, a Democrat, who chairs the Senate’s gaming committee, has vowed to push the committee to permit an online component. Addabbo said sports betting could be used as an economic vehicle to increase education funding and create new jobs.

“Without the online aspect in sports betting, we’re really shortchanging our state. We’ve got to figure out a way to interpret our constitution more broadly to incorporate the mobile aspect. Hopefully the governor can get on the same page.”

His colleague, Assembly Gary Pretlow plans to push for online wagering and believes the legislature will not need a constitutional amendment to do so.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick comes from West Texas where he graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in psychology. After a five-year stint in Chicago, where he wrote about local politics and graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, he moved to Washington, D.C. to write about issues related to gambling policy, sports betting and responsible gaming.

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