A major change to the restaurant scene in New York could be coming soon, and sports fans are going to love it.

Gambling was legalized in New York in 2013, but it wasn't until January 8, 2022 that mobile sports wagering was legalized in the Empire State. Since that time, New York has become a pace-setter for online wagering in the country, with more than $16 billion in wagers reportedly being placed since the date of legalization.

That's a pretty big pie, and now, New York's restaurants and bars are hungry for a slice of it.

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Report: New York State Restaurant Association Seeks Gaming License

A story from Buffalo News shared an update from the New York State Restaurant Association, which is seeking an expansion of gaming licenses in the Empire State to include restaurants and bars statewide. This would cover everything, including locations in New York City, but also, the Capital Region and the rest of Upstate New York.

The report states that $16 billion worth of wagers have been collected in the state since January of 2022, with Governor Kathy Hochul reporting $900 million in revenue for the state as a result.

DraftKings Sportsbook at The Brook Ribbon Cutting
DraftKings is one of the licensed sportsbooks in New York / Getty Images for DraftKings

This decision would benefit a few key parties: the state, the restaurant/bar industry, the economies of local cities and towns, and of course, the sports fans of New York.

Think about it: one of the industries that felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic the most, was the restaurant-and-bar industry. Most locally-owned businesses are still trying to make up for lost revenue from 2020, and the added incentive for restaurant patrons to eat-in, versus order-out, would undoubtedly help them recoup lost money.

That impact would also benefit locally-owned stores surrounding the restaurants, with the long-term goal being the complete revitalization of downtown economies across New York.

Online Fantasy Sports Sites, FanDuel And DraftKings, Under Scrutiny Of Government
Getty Images

Naturally, sports fans will love this addition, too. Ease-of-access is the name of the game in sports right now, and the ability to place bets at your favorite restaurant or bar while watching the game will help continue the re-building of the "sports bar atmosphere" that most of us have been missing since the pandemic hit.

All of that added revenue will also benefit the state's bottom line, which will hopefully lead to more investment in education, infrastructure, and other areas of critical need.

Just to be clear, the decision to introduce on-premises sports betting kiosks has not been confirmed or finalized; it is simply in-the-works. That being said, the logic behind it is solid, and the benefits of it are far-reaching.

Now, all restaurants and bars in the area need, is a simple yes.

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