NY Governor leaves mobile betting out of state budget

Mobile sports betting has been left out of New York’s state budget for the 2020–21 financial year.

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined New York’s state budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year which made slight amendments to sports betting restrictions in the state but left the ban on mobile sports betting unchanged.

This marks the second consecutive year that Cuomo has left mobile sports wagering out of the state’s budget.

The amendments outlined in the budget will allow casinos to take sports wagers anywhere on the premises. Previously, all sports wagers had to be placed within a casinos sports betting lounge.

What does this mean for NY sports betting?

This means that sports betting in New York will remain restricted to land-based casinos upstate. It is possible that the amendments would allow the state’s casinos to launch mobile or online apps so that patrons can place bets anywhere from within a licensed casino.

Senator Joseph Addabbo, who has made repeated attempts to legalize mobile sports betting, said: “The Executive Budget’s and state’s need for revenue emphasizes the importance of implementing mobile sports betting in New York and not to miss an opportunity to raise much needed revenue to assist in addressing the expanding $6bn budget deficit, to increase educational funding, to protect vital programs, to curtail the current illegal sports betting in our state, and to significantly enhance the prospect of creating jobs.

“I am hopeful that mobile sports betting is on a similar road as some other issues, such as Paid Family Leave and Medical Marijuana, which were initially rejected by the Governor. Fortunately, these initiatives are now in place to benefit the people of our state — as would mobile sports betting. I look forward to working with the Governor’s Administration, the State Legislative leadership, and my colleagues on this matter during budget negotiations.”

According to the New York State Gaming Commission’s figures for December, sports wagering revenue amounted to $740,418, the lowest monthly figure since the market went live in July. State-wide online and mobile betting could help the state’s betting market realise its full potential.

Nearby states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania allow state-wide mobile and online sports betting and as a result of this, both states now have incredibly successful sports betting markets. In both states, the majority of sports wagers are placed via online platforms. In Pennsylvania, mobile sports wagering helped push 2019’s total betting handle past $1bn,  accounting for 70% of total handle.

Sports betting in New York

Six years ago, the Empire State legalized land-based sports wagering through the 2013 New York Economic Gaming Act. The passage of this law allowed four upstate casinos in New York to offer sports betting if the federal law prohibiting the activity was amended or overturned.

New York officially launched legal and regulated sports betting in July 2019, with the opening of the sportsbook at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady. A FanDuel branded sportsbook at Tioga Downs and the DraftKings Sportsbook at Del Lago opened shortly after sports betting in New York went live.

Several tribal casinos also offer sports betting in the state. In early August, two tribal casinos in New York also launched sports betting. The Oneida Indian Nation, in partnership with Caesars Entertainment, launched sports wagering at Turning Stone Casino in Verona and at Point Place Casino in Bridgeport.

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