New York Moves Toward Legalizing Mobile Sports Betting

By in Gambling Laws on
3 Minute Read
  • Both chambers of the New York Congress advanced budget legislation calling for the legalization of mobile sports betting
  • Both plans run contrary to the sports betting model preferred by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
  • Gov. Cuomo prefers a lottery-run model

On Monday, the New York Senate and Assembly advanced a number of budget bills, including two that provide the framework for legal mobile sports betting in the state.

The Senate proposal advanced by a vote of 43-20. Shortly thereafter, the Assembly voted in favor of their own plan 106-43. Democrats argued heavily in favor of legalized sports betting during debate sessions on Monday, while Republicans were largely opposed. Democrats hold supermajorities in both chambers, which bodes well for the future of the industry in the state.

This was a major step for legalization after the issue had stalled in the state legislature for several months. It is believed that legalized sports betting could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in extra revenue for the state on a yearly basis. While the model provided by lawmakers comprised a small part of the $200 million budget proposal, sports betting was one of the major points of contention among lawmakers during negotiations.

Senate Proposal

The framework calls for the establishment of several mobile sports betting operators in the state, which runs against the model preferred by embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Gov. Cuomo prefers the idea of New York using a single or limited operator model. Clearly, the fact that the competitive market model passed through the legislature is a sign that lawmakers believe they can overcome the Governor’s opposition.

The Senate included sports betting in its budget proposal two years ago, but this is the first time the Assembly has done so. Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. said,

“There are many similarities to both our mobile sports betting section within the budget proposal and the Assembly’s. This will be the start of negotiations over the next two weeks or so right up until midnight on March 31, the deadline for the state budget.”

The Senate’s plan calls for multiple operators, which will increase competition and give New Yorkers more options. New York is one of the most populous states in the country, so no shortage of operators will have interest in getting in on the action once sports betting is made legal. Addabbo added, “The Governor wants to have an informational session to see how many companies are willing to be a part of this, which is ridiculous because we know what that answer is already. Everyone wants to be here.”

Under the Senate proposal, two existing casinos in Queens and Yonkers could be awarded sports betting licenses, but that hasn’t yet been made final. The plan also calls for three more land-based casinos to be given the green light to operate in the state. Each operator would have to pay $500 million in licensing fees.

Assembly Plan

Under the Assembly’s plan, each of New York’s four commercial casinos and three Native American tribal operators would have up to two mobile sports betting skins. Each casino would have to pay a $12 million licensing fee for each of its authorized operators. This plan also calls for a 12 percent tax rate on mobile sports betting and an 8.5 percent rate on in-person bets.

This is a major step in the right direction for New York, especially given the progress that has already been made in two of their neighboring states. New Jersey and Pennslyvania have wasted little time in becoming two of the country’s most prominent sports betting hubs since the Supreme Court struck down PASPA back in 2018.

New York legalized in-person sports betting at retail casinos back in 2019, but the industry is still struggling. The lack of an online option has left New York’s industry in need of a makeover. New York generated a gross sports betting revenue of $1.15 million in February, which was down from $3.57 million in January.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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