It now only seems to be a matter of time until mobile sports betting becomes reality in New York State, given Governor Cuomo’s latest remarks.
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York is perfectly capable of generating $20 billion a year in sports bets, and in doing so, becoming the largest single legal state sports betting market in the nation;
“At a time when New York faces a historic budget deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current online sports wagering structure incentivizes a large segment of New York residents to travel out of state to make online sports wagers or continue to patronize black markets”.
“New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States, and by legalizing online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars in revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis.” Cuomo said.
New York State’s potential online sportsbook operators like 888Sport, FanDuel, and BetMGM will have noted by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s firm and deliberate tone in making the announcement, that he intends the underperforming New York State budget to emerge as the biggest winner from legal sports wagering in the Empire State, not the operators.
However, the great news for the state’s many online sports bettors currently commuting to New Jersey to place their wagers is that Cuomo re-enforced his desire to get online sports wagering approved and signed into in state law this year. The State budget is the important document in getting New York State Sports Wagering approved and over the line. The state budget must be finalized by April 1 at the latest.
With the budget requiring to be approved by April 1, Cuomo has announced he would like to enact two tax revenue streams to help battle the current global pandemic enforced financial crisis — state-sponsored online sports wagering and legalizing adult-use recreational cannabis.
State-lottery run Online Sports Betting in New York?
Traditional online sportsbooks may be reeling from Cuomo remarks that he prefers a model whereby the New York State-lottery runs online sports betting.
Much like the online sports wagering model adopted by New Hampshire where a single operator in DraftKings is the sole state-sponsored online sports betting platform, Cuomo’s plan involves putting the process out to tender to a single operator.
With Cuomo’s suggested proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission would solicit proposals to choose and license a single sports betting platform to offer online sports wagering in New York. The chosen sportsbook would potentially undertake a shared-partnership agreement with one of the existing four licensed commercial casinos in New York. The regulator would also insist that licensed online sportsbooks apps include responsible gaming software on their betting platforms.
However, both the State House and Senate are in disagreement with the Cuomo online sports wagering proposal and filed their own sports betting bill that allowed for multiple operators shortly after hearing the Governor’s remarks. Cuomo now believes it is up to both Houses to decide on what form of online sports wagering bill that finally is sent to him for his signature.
It does appear that New York State’s legislators may eventually get their way with a multiple operator sports betting model. A state-run sportsbook would permit the state to access more of the gross gaming revenue, however, a state-based monopoly would do little to advance struggling casinos and racetracks n New York.
Watch this space for what unfolds in New York, however, with bettors having fewer choices with a state-based system, our money is on the multiple-operator model to finally be approved.