New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has submitted a mobile sports betting plan for the state, proposing that the State Gaming Commission be in charge of receiving applications from providers. The governor submitted the proposal along with his State of the State address.
strongly suggests that multiple providers will be able to offer services
Early on, it was expected that Governor Cuomo would support mobile betting only if the state lottery were in charge. It looked like a monopoly system was going to be in play. With this proposal, however, it appears as though the governor has changed his mind. The wording of “one or more providers” strongly suggests that multiple providers will be able to offer services.
In his proposal, Governor Cuomo says that any platform provider must partner with a licensed commercial casino in the state. The New York Gaming Commission will require that any operator offering mobile wagering apps include safeguards to protect players against abuse and addiction.
State needs the revenue
The decision to allow mobile sports betting was surprising coming from the governor. Cuomo has never supported legalizing online sports betting. His position changed quickly, however, once the COVID-19 pandemic took its financial toll on the state. The governor has seen how other states, including nearby New Jersey, have benefited from mobile wagering.
New York has a budget shortfall of $15bn
During the State of the State address, Governor Cuomo said that New York has a budget shortfall of $15bn. Several new revenue streams are up for consideration to help shrink the shortfall, including the legalization of marijuana.
Mobile sports betting in New York will keep revenues from leaving the state. Studies estimate that almost 20% of revenues in the New Jersey industry come from New Yorkers.
Current sportsbook partnerships
Several of the required casino/online operator partnerships already exist in the state. Rush Street Interactive operates the Rivers Casino and Resort and has its own online business. Tioga Downs works with FanDuel, the del Lago Resort has a deal with DraftKings, and Resorts World Catskills works with both International Game Technology and BetGenius.
The commercial casinos in the state already offer land-based sports betting. With partnerships in place, they could easily launch a mobile app if approved. Tribal operators also have tech deals, including the Oneida Indian Nation, which works with Caesars and IGT.
As the governor announced that mobile sports betting would become a reality in the state, two state legislators decided to introduce their own bills. Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have filed two pieces of legislation: S1183 and A1257. These bills would allow commercial casinos in the state to have two mobile partners. Tribal casinos would also be permitted to offer services.
The bills would require operators to pay a $12m licensing fee for mobile products plus a 12% tax on gross revenues. This rate is a higher than the land-based tax of 8.5%.
Professional sports stadiums and off-track betting properties would be able to form partnerships with operators. After teaming up with casinos, these facilities could install betting kiosks on their properties.