Bills’ ouster ends NY books’ Super dream

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New York loses again.

Not just on the field. At the betting windows.

Had the Buffalo Bills made it to Super Bowl LV, you would have seen record handle at the state’s nine retail sportsbooks. Remember, New York has yet to approve mobile betting.

Think of the photo op of Governor Andrew Cuomo visiting the BetRivers sportsbook in Schenectady and betting on the Bills to beat Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Feb. 7.

Instead, Cuomo can try to figure out how to either get the federal government to supply the state with more COVID-19 vaccine or find a way to purchase it himself and get his people vaccinated after the Bills were handled by Kansas City, 38-24.

Frankly, that’s more important than making a bet on the Super Bowl. But it might have been fun to see if Cuomo and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could have agreed on a friendly mindless wager. You know, like a crate of New York apples vs. a crate of Florida oranges.

And too bad Florida has yet to find a way to work with the tribes to allow legalized sports betting at the state’s casinos and racetracks. Can you imagine what the lines would be like at Tampa Bay Downs on Super Sunday with the Bucs in the game if there was a sportsbook at the track? Even the alligator that resides in the infield lake might want to take a look at all the excitement.

Instead, Floridians will have to find a bookmaker to get down and despite the growth of legalized sports betting throughout the nation, finding an illegal bookie isn’t as tough as finding a candy store where a bookie would hang out. At least that’s the way it was in the old days, long before cell phones, computers and everything went high-tech.

I’m guessing Florida bettors have offshore accounts and for politicians like DeSantis who can’t get a deal done with the tribes, that’s revenue that never sees the light of day in the Sunshine State.

Maybe having the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl will serve as a wake-up call for the state and the tribes to find a way to partner and legalize sports betting in Florida. The guess is the millions of dollars generated from Super Bowl bets would look good in the state treasury.

Virginia in the game

While New York and Florida, along with other states, drag their feet, Virginia ensured it will have a good Super Bowl, even without the Washington Football Team as a participant in the Big Game.

Mobile betting launched last Thursday with FanDuel leaving the field of 12 out of the starting gate first. Having the conference championships proved to be a good dry run. The expectation is the approved licensees, which include DraftKings, William Hill, BetMGM, PointsBet among others, should be operational before the Super Bowl.

But the big news was the Virginia Lottery, which oversees the bid process for licenses, awarded one to the Washington Football Team, perhaps in the hopes of luring owner Daniel Snyder to leave Maryland and build a new stadium in Virginia. The NFL team is partnering with FanDuel.

“We are excited to bring America’s No. 1 sportsbook to residents and visitors to the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Matt King, CEO of FanDuel Group. “We’re honored to partner with an iconic sports franchise and we plan to deliver the most fan-focused, and secure, mobile sports betting experience to the passionate sports fans of Virginia.”

Scott Shepherd, Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships & Hospitality for the Washington Football Team, added: “When this truly unique opportunity presented itself, it was a natural fit to strategically align with our long-time partner, FanDuel, as we knew they’d establish a best in class sports betting marketplace, grounded by innovation and consumer protection.

“We’re very excited for all this groundbreaking partnership will offer our valued fans throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia as part of their game day experience.”

About the Author

Steve Carp

Steve Carp is a six-time Nevada Sportswriter of the Year. A 30-year veteran of the Las Vegas sports journalism scene, he covered the Vegas Golden Knights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal from 2015-2018.

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