New York Approves Budget, Mobile Sports Betting to Be Legalized
New York State’s Democrat-controlled Senate and Assembly recently approved the latest 2022 fiscal year budget which includes plans to legalize mobile sports betting.
The budget, which aims to reclaim some of New York’s $59 billion in revenue shortfalls through 2022 due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, includes a range of proposals such as plans to raise income tax on millionaires, make Marijuana legal and implement a limited operator model for online sports wagering providers.
According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the plan is to have the state’s sports betting industry heavily controlled by the New York Lottery.
This means that the state lottery will likely accept proposals from only a few mobile operators, which could then licence wagering services out to other sportsbooks.
The state’s plans have come under criticism for not allowing competition, especially considering that states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey allow for several different bookmakers to operate, forcing higher competition and more choice among customers.
New York’s plans also fall behind legislation in other countries where sports betting is legal but tightly controlled. For example, in Australia, betting sites must obtain a licence and pay heavy taxes on their revenues, but there are no restrictions on the number of sportsbooks allowed to enter the market.
New York’s decision to legalize sports betting comes on the back of reports that New York is likely losing up to $500 million in annual tax revenue from illegal betting and betting that occurs across state borders in New Jersey.
Sports betting is already legal in New York but is currently limited to four in-person casino-run sportsbooks in Upstate New York.
When mobile sports betting goes online, New York will be by far the most populated state to offer online wagering with Florida, Texas and California the other big states that investors and wagering companies will likely be keeping a close eye on.
Other major legislative priorities for the FY 2022 New York State Budget include:
A record $29.5 billion in aid to schools aid;
$29 billion in public and private green economy investments;
$2.4 billion for rent and homeowner relief;
$2.4 billion for child care;
$2.1 billion for excluded workers;
1 billion for small business recovery;
A first-in-the-nation plan to make broadband internet affordable; and
Implementing comprehensive nursing home reforms.
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