New York Now Leads Nation in Mobile Sports Betting

Good morning. Today we’ll look at New York State’s surge in the newly legalized world of online sports betting (and how bettors used ‘Twosday’ to play the numbers). Also, Mayor Eric Adams is criticized for some appointments.

Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times

Since New York State opened online betting in early January, it has become the biggest bookmaking market in the nation, surpassing Nevada, the nation’s gambling mecca, and New Jersey, which captured the No. 1 spot in mobile sports betting after legalizing the practice in 2018.

There have been more than $2 billion in wagers in New York State so far, bringing nearly $80 million in tax revenue, reports my colleague Jesse McKinley.

A quarter of the nation’s mobile-sports wagers on the Super Bowl came from New York.

That demand was probably whetted by a long wait for New York gamblers, who watched enviously as New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania all legalized placing bets on a mobile phone or laptop in recent years.

Since the state’s first four betting sites launched on Jan. 8, with the N.F.L. playoffs starting a week later, more than two million unique player accounts have been used in the state, according to GeoComply, a Canadian geolocation security firm.

“New Yorkers are passionate sports fans and have been active sports bettors,” said Bill Miller, the president of the American Gaming Association. “They just didn’t have a legal option. And now they do.”

Why are New York’s gambling numbers so high?

Part of it is simply the size of the state. New York is the most populous of the 20 states that allow residents to gamble on their phones. Two potentially larger players, Texas and California, are awaiting legalization.

Companies seeking to lure bettors to their platforms have offered generous short-term promotions, including oversized payoffs, risk-free bets and thousands of dollars in free betting credits deposited in players’ accounts.

Caesars Sportsbook, for one, offered a dollar-to-dollar match on deposits to player accounts, up to $3,000, in addition to a $300 sign-up bonus.

“New Yorkers have always wanted to do this,” said Gary Pretlow, chairman of the racing and wagering committee in the New York State Assembly. “And it’s happening now.”

Analysts say that once the promotions decrease or disappear in coming months, the state’s betting activity will likely decline and stabilize, especially after college basketball’s March Madness playoffs concludes in early April.

A boon for tax revenue and a possible path to a New York City casino

State tax revenue from online betting has already shot past projections. Gamblers have made more than $2.4 billion in bets through Feb. 13, including a staggering $472 million in the week ending with the Super Bowl, and betting platform operators pay a 51 percent tax rate on gross gaming revenue.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., a Democrat from Queens who serves as the chairman of the committee on racing, gaming and wagering, is pushing for an expansion of new brick-and-mortar casinos with on-site betting parlors, an effort backed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. That scenario could pave the way for opening a casino in New York City.

Mr. Addabbo also seeks to expand wagering into stadiums, racetracks and arenas. Randy Levine, the New York Yankees president, last week expressed support for a betting kiosk at Yankee Stadium, following the lead of other professional sports franchises.

The surge in betting worries addiction specialists, who say the ease and speed of mobile sports wagering may trap newcomers and tempt those trying to recover.

The state Office of Addiction Services and Supports says that it has already seen a 46 percent increase in calls to its gambling help line in January, compared with the previous January.

On 2/22/22, how many people played those numbers? Too many.

In other betting news, New York bettors were motivated yesterday by another factor: It was Twosday.

The nickname refers to yesterday’s date, Feb. 22, 2022, which written out numerically would be 2/22/22, a palindrome of a date made up of all twos.

It was an attractive combination for numbers players — those who favor lottery and draw games where they can select their own numbers. The number two was played early and often.

“When I opened at 8 a.m., all the numbers with twos were already sold out,” said Fatool Patel, who sells lottery and draw tickets from his newsstand on Broadway and West 39th Street.

Mr. Patel said more than 50 customers asked for combinations of all twos but were too late to place their bets.

It was just as well. The winning numbers announced at midday did not include an all-twos combination. Still, some customers asked to bet their all-twos sequences for the Wednesday drawing. And soon that began selling out.

Dunia Mars, an accountant who works nearby, stepped up to Mr. Patel, who told her that the 2222 combination for Wednesday’s Win-4 was already sold out. So Ms. Mars played 222 on her pick-3 ticket.

“Sometimes you hit the big number the day after,” she said. “It’s worth a try.”


There’s a chance of showers earlier in the day, with temps in the mid-60s. The evening is mostly cloudy, with temps dropping to the low 30s.

alternate-side parking

In effect until March 2 (Ash Wednesday).

The latest New York news

  • According to a new poll released by the Siena College Research Institute, nearly 60 percent of New York voters want more data before the state lifts its school mask mandate.

  • The Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, its longtime chief financial officer, asked a judge to dismiss the criminal charges against them, arguing in court filings that the case was politically motivated.

Recent mayoral appointments anger L.G.B.T.Q. leaders

Credit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times

Mayor Eric Adams is drawing increasing criticism for naming several people to city positions who have expressed opposition to gay marriage.

N.Y.C. Mayor Eric Adams’s New Administration

Card 1 of 8

Schools Chancellor: David Banks. The longtime New York City educator, who rose to prominence after creating a network of public all-boys schools, takes the lead at the nation’s largest public school system as it struggles to emerge from the pandemic.

Police Commissioner: Keechant Sewell. The Nassau County chief of detectives becomes New York City’s first female police commissioner, taking over the nation’s largest police force amid ​​a crisis of trust in American policing and a troubling rise in violence.

Commissioner of Correction Department: Louis Molina. ​​The former N.Y.P.D. officer, who was the chief of the Las Vegas public safety department, is tasked with leading the city’s embattled Correction Department and restoring order at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex.

Chief Counsel: Brendan McGuire. ​​After a stint as a partner in a law firm’s white-collar practice, the former federal prosecutor returns to the public sector to advise the mayor on legal matters involving City Hall, the executive staff and administrative matters.

Transportation Commissioner: Ydanis Rodriguez. ​​The Manhattan council member is a trusted ally of Mr. Adams. Mr. Rodriguez will face major challenges in his new role: In 2021, traffic deaths in the city soared to their highest level since 2013, partly due to speeding and reckless driving.

Health Commissioner: Dr. Ashwin Vasan. Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, the current commissioner, stays in the role to provide continuity to the city’s pandemic response. In mid-March, Dr. Vasan, the president of a mental health and public health charity, will take over.

Deputy mayors. ​​Mr. Adams announced five women as deputy mayors, including Lorraine Grillo as his top deputy. Philip Banks III, a former N.Y.P.D. chief who resigned while under federal investigation in 2014, later announced his own appointment as deputy mayor for public safety.

Executive director of mayoral security: Bernard Adams. Amid concerns of nepotism, Mayor Adams’s brother, who is a retired police sergeant, will oversee mayoral security after he was originally named as deputy police commissioner.

L.G.B.T.Q. groups are planning to protest on the steps of City Hall on Thursday.

To help run his Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships, Mr. Adams named Fernando Cabrera, a former Bronx councilman, and Gilford Monrose, a Brooklyn pastor, both of whom have said they oppose gay marriage.

The mayor also appointed Erick Salgado, a pastor who has expressed opposition to gay marriage, as an assistant commissioner for external affairs with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, my colleague Dana Rubinstein reported.

Numerous gay and lesbian leaders, many of whom have been Adams supporters, have criticized him for the appointments.

“They’re all known homophobes,” said Cathy Marino-Thomas, the board chair for the advocacy group Equality New York. She is helping to organize Thursday’s protest.

Christine Quinn, who is gay and who was formerly speaker of the New York City Council, said in reference to Mr. Cabrera and Mr. Salgado, “It’s insane; I don’t understand why a mayor who has a good record on L.G.B.T. issues would appoint two individuals who have horrific records.”

In a statement, Mr. Adams described himself as a “man of faith” and said that he had always stood for “tolerance and inclusion.”

Mr. Adams voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the New York State Senate twice, even delivering a nine-minute speech in support of it in 2009.

The outrage over Mr. Cabrera goes back at least to 2014, when he was representing the Bronx in the City Council. He visited Uganda and appeared on a video hailing Uganda’s intolerance for gay marriage as solid Christian “decision-making for the nation” along with outlawing abortions and “things that Christians really stand for.”

Mr. Salgado said in a statement through the mayor’s office, “My views have evolved as society has evolved.” Mr. Monrose referred requests for comment to City Hall.

A spokesman for the mayor noted that on Monday evening, Mr. Cabrera apologized on Facebook for “the undue pain and suffering that my past remarks have caused the L.G.B.T.Q.+ community.”

What we’re reading

  • The Forward reported on an extended exhibit at the Museum of Chinese in America, which showcases a vast collection of photographs in Chinatown by the “unlikely photojournalist” Emile Bocian.

  • There are many nods to New York history in “The Gilded Age,” the HBO period drama. Here are the back stories of elements that shape the world of the series.

  • The City wrote about the Bronx Hall of Justice and how the largest courthouse in the state is falling apart.


Secret sauce

Dear Diary:

I was on line at the customer service window at a Gristede’s on Second Avenue. An older woman in front of me had 16 jars of spaghetti sauce in her shopping cart. She was asking the clerk to adjust the price because it had scanned incorrectly at the register.

As the adjustment was being made, I tapped the woman on the shoulder.

“I guess your family thought your spaghetti sauce was homemade,” I said as she turned around.

“They will never know my secret,” she said, a twinkle in her eye. “I put in some spices, onions and garlic and hide the jars under my bed. I’ll take this secret to my grave.”

She started to leave, and then turned back round.

“And so will you,” she said.

— Peter Moran

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here.

Glad we could get together here. See you tomorrow. — C.K.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. You can find all our puzzles here.

Melissa Guerrero, Olivia Parker and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].


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