New York Sports Betting is Legal, But Not on NCAA Football or Basketball Teams

New York Sports Betting is Legal, But Not on NCAA Football or Basketball Teams

Good news, New Yorkers: There is already legalized sports betting in New York at select retail locations, and the state will make online wagering available to everyone at the start of 2022. So, yes: It's happening. New York is about to join the list of states with legal online sports betting.

And yet, this implementation is not taking place without conditions. Because while New York sports betting is legal, you won't be allowed to place wagers on NCAA football or NCAA basketball teams that reside in the state.

Let's look into how this might impact you.

College Sports in New York Not Eligible for Sports Betting

Keeping in theme with New Jersey, New York will not allow betting on college football or betting on college basketball—but only when trying to invest in institutions that actually reside in New York.

Confused? You're not alone. A lot of people have taken this to mean New York will not allow betting on college sports, period. That's not quite the case.

Think of all the major Division I schools in New York: Syracuse, Stony Brook, Marist, Hofstra, St. John's, St. Bonaventure, etc. People in New York will not be allowed to place bets on their specific sporting events. 

With that said, this does not hold true for out-of-market schools. College basketball odds and college football odds are fair game for New York bettors if they're wagering on schools in Wisconsin, Illinois, North Carolina, Carolina, et al.

What About Sports Betting on Major College Events?

Many people are already wondering whether New York's gambling laws will impact their bandwidth to bet on March Madnessbet on the college football playoffs or anything along those lines. The answer is no. New York residents can still bet on major college sports tournaments and championships.

That in mind, you are only able to do so if you're betting on a team that resides outside New York. For example, let's say you want to bet on the 2022 March Madness Tournament. If you want to place a bet on Duke, you can absolutely do so, because they are located in North Carolina. But if you want to bet on St. John's or bet on Stony Brook, you will not be able to submit a wager, since they're located in New York.

Do New York's Betting Laws Impact Any Pro Sports?

Luckily, there will be no limitations placed upon any professional sports. 

New York residents can bet on the NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, NBA, pro tennis and golf tournaments and any other professional sporting event. The laws in place only impact your ability to wager on college sports.

Why is New York Limiting College Sports Betting?

New York's motives can be explained with one word: Integrity. At least, that's what state officials will tell you.

As New Jersey has cited in the past, "schools and officials fear college players may be influenced to manipulate the outcome of a game or be pressured to share private information concerning team injuries."

Whether this excuse has any merit is debatable. Limiting college sports betting doesn't forbid it altogether. Players in other markets can still be influenced by shady opportunities. Also, underground betting remains popular, as well. Players aren't any more likely to manipulate the outcome of a game just because college sports betting is legal.

How Sportsbooks will Handle New York Betting Laws

If you're worried about figuring out how to navigate college sports betting in New York, you're going to be okay. Sportsbooks licensed to take bets in New York will automatically remove the option to place wagers on any college teams in New York.

For those concerned about what happens if, say, St. John's wins the March Madness Tournament when they weren't allowed to bet on them in the first place, you're also covered here. Sportsbooks will treat any tournament won by a New York college as a "push' and refund bettors their initial investment.

Still, you'll want to make sure your place wagers with a reputable site, just in case you run into any issues. And it just so happens we have reviews for the top online sportsbooks to help you find one. 

Will New York Eventually Allow Bets on In-State College Sports?

Never say never, folks. There was a time when many thought legal online betting in the United States would never come to fruition, and now more than half the country has greenlit sports betting or proposed legislation that would do so.

As for when New York might allow bets on in-state college sports, we cannot say. If they really are following the lead of New Jersey, this isn't something that will change anytime soon. There will need to be a material change in the way college sports operate. Even then, the NCAA is openly against legal betting on college sports. And without their blessing, it could remain a messy situation. 

New York will be much more likely to accept wagers on in-state college teams if student-athletes are ever able to get paid. That would throw the concern about potential manipulation of game results out the window; they would be no different from professional athletes.

But you won't want to hold your breath. The NCAA has already allowed players to capitalize financially off their likeness, and that hasn't swayed New York or New Jersey off their current stance.

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your sports betting needs:

Meet the author

Eric Uribe

Eric has been passionate about sports since he was 10 years old. He brings over 10 years of sports journalism experience to his expert coverage of sports betting. Hailing from the US, Eric leverages his diverse expertise covering sports at all levels – from high sch...

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