ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Put your money where your mouth is…or maybe where your phone is. Now that mobile sports betting is live in New York State, locals are prepping their bets for the Bills divisional playoff game this weekend.
Christian Damico said he’s putting everything on our hometown team.
“Really excited for the Bills game, I think we’re going to beat the chiefs. I went to Kansas City last year for the AFC Championship game so I know how it’s going to be there this weekend and it’s going to be a good game,” Damico said.
The Governor’s 2023 state budget briefing book revealed $150 million was bet on sports during the first weekend that mobile sports betting went live two weekends ago. Just this week it was reported that New York is likely to surpass New Jersey for the top spot in the national mobile sports betting market. This is according to a company that most of the legal sports betting industry uses to verify their customers are where they say they are.
“They are constantly asking for the Wi-Fi password. You have to be in a location in New York to be able to place the bets on the app. Some out of towners, their phones won’t work because they have to be logged in to a Wi-Fi network to place a bet,” said pub owner, Tom O’Callaghan.
O’Callaghan’s Pub on Monroe Avenue has adjusted some of the offerings at the bar to meet the needs of those who are betting this weekend.
“We have video billboards that will show the odds of all the games, both college and professional that will just stream throughout the bar on two different TVs. Anyone looking for their odds can check the boards right there or go right to their apps,” O’Callaghan said.
Online sports betting was originally legalized in New York as it’s expected to bring in big money for the state. Lawmakers said they anticipate the industry can generate around $500 million in tax revenue. DraftKings was one of the first sports betting companies to be legalized in New York. Johnny Avello is the Director of Race & Sports Operations for DraftKings and said mobile sports betting being legalized in New York State is a huge win.
“The bets that came in from New York were astounding, just huge numbers. New York was right there at the top of our betting numbers. We knew that New Yorkers like to gamble and they sure showed it over that weekend,” Avello said, “And when we do get to Sunday, the bills aren’t the first game either. That’s the last game of the divisional playoffs. For us at DraftKings, a lot of things will be tying into that game and I know that the bills fans are excited and they’re going to be betting their team and all the props we have to offer.”
If you plan on stopping by O’Callaghan’s Pub this weekend to watch the game or place some bets, be sure to buy a drink or two.
“We’re giving away some Josh Allen jerseys, some memorabilia, jackets, and a ton of bills cozies,” O’Callaghan said, “All you have to do is come in and buy a beer, we enter you to win just by spending money here.”
The bills game starts at 6:30 pm on Sunday. The only place you can watch it is on WROC-TV.