Governor Cuomo has changed his opinion on mobile online betting in the state of New York countless times. In 2019, New York approved retail sports betting, but Cuomo was wholeheartedly against mobile sports betting.
Governor Cuomo has become more receptive to online sports betting, but his position on gambling is continuously changing. However, his recent State of the State Address has made the sports betting industry very excited about New York mobile gaming’s future framework.
The Supreme Court removed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018. This allowed states to legalize sports betting in their respective territories. However, New York was way ahead of the time. The state legislature legalized sports betting in 2013, pending gambling becoming legal in the United States.
The first New York retail sports bet was made in 2019. Retail sports betting is limited to the state’s commercial and tribal casinos. Mobile sports betting in New York is not currently legal in any capacity.
Governor Cuomo was one of the reasons for sports betting being so limited in the Empire State. Once PASPA was deemed unconstitutional, Governor Cuomo didn’t bend on the issue of mobile sports betting. Governor Cuomo continuously stated that states with mobile sports betting aren’t profiting from the form of gaming. The sports betting providers and casinos are the ones who are truly benefiting.
Governor Cuomo wanted to avoid this issue entirely. Therefore, no mobile sports betting is available in New York. New York has one of the smallest retail sports betting markets in the country. The state is the fourth most populated state in the country, so there is a lot more room for revenue growth if mobile sports betting was legalized.
Governor Cuomo’s stance on sports betting hasn’t stayed the same since retail betting went into effect in 2019. Originally, Governor Cuomo opposed sports betting. Then he wanted the New York Lottery to operate a mobile sportsbook. This idea was quickly opposed because legislators doubted the lottery’s ability to generate a lot of revenue.
Governor Cuomo’s next proposal was for a single sports betting provider to have a mobile monopoly in the state. The provider would be under the direct supervision of the New York Gaming Commission. This idea gained traction, but it has been replaced with a new idea from Governor Cuomo’s desk.
Governor Cuomo gave his final State of the State Address of 2020 at the beginning of the 2021 legislative session. The press release published after the State of the State Address had the sports betting industry buzzing.
The press release stated, “Under Governor Cuomo’s proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select one or more providers to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. This platform must have a partnership with at least one of the existing licensed commercial casinos. The Commission will also require any entity operating mobile wagering apps include safeguards against abuses and addiction.” The phrase “one or more providers” gives New York bettors hope that they’ll be able to bet on multiple skins in the Empire State.
This change from Governor Cuomo most likely occurred because of the COVID pandemic. The New York economy was destroyed since the virus hit the city in the early spring of 2020. Large scale mobile wagering would be a nice boost for the state to recover the economy and support the public education system.
An identical bill that would allow mobile sports betting in New York City and New York state has been proposed in the House of Representatives and Senate. Representative J. Gary Pretlow and Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. were the two legislators that introduced a mobile sports betting bill in their respective chambers. Each bill would allow up to 14 online skins to operate in the state.
Sports betting is legal in New York. However, only retail sports betting is allowed in the state. If people want to wager sports on their mobile devices, the closest legal states are New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New Jersey and Pennsylvania border New York. These two states have taken a lot of sports betting revenue away from New York. The lost revenue would be turned into a profit if the state could pass a mobile sports betting bill in 2021.
Currently, there are seven retail sportsbooks in the state of New York. An eighth will be coming to Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in Hogansburg following state approval.
- Rivers Sportsbook in Schenectady
- FanDuel Sportsbook in Tioga Downs
- DraftKings Sportsbook at del Lago Resort Casino
- Turning Stone in Syracuse
- Point Place in Bridgeport
- Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango
- Resorts World Catskills in Monticello
New York has one of the smallest sports betting markets in the country. The public school system is struggling in New York, so Governor Cuomo would like to use mobile sports betting to help. COVID has changed Cuomo’s mind toward mobile sports betting.
The pandemic has forced New York to allocate funds to healthcare, which has caused other sectors of the economy to suffer. Education has felt the full effect of the COVID pandemic. Teachers and students are both struggling because of the lack of resources from the state.
New York City schools have felt the consequences of COVID harder than many other districts in the state. Sports betting in New York City would help the educational system return to some level of normalcy in the coming years.
Governor. Cuomo wants to back mobile online betting even though there are too many bumps on the road for state legalization. The biggest fear in the New York legislature is that the state won’t benefit from mobile betting. This will most likely delay the start of mobile sports betting in the state.
Some legislators believe that low tax rates should be the way to attract operators in the state. Others want to enact a high tax rate because they feel that the New York City market is already attractive enough for operators to enter the state.
The 2021 legislative session runs until June 18th, so there is plenty of time for a bill to become law. However, differing opinions will make this process extremely difficult. Overall, the state wants to avoid a mobile monopoly. The chambers want to take their time and implement a sports betting framework to recover the state’s economy. No timetable has been established for the legalization of mobile sports betting.
The legalization of mobile sports betting will most likely be a tedious process. At this time, the legislature needs to act swiftly because the New York economy is becoming worse every single day. Hopefully, Governor Cuomo’s heart change regarding sports betting operators implies that he will push the legislative process forward. The House and Senate bills haven’t stalled yet. The next few weeks should give bettors an indication of the outlook of mobile betting in New York state.
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