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Governor Andrew Cuomo wants the lottery to run NY online sports betting. What does this mean for the state and its bettors?

Danny Small

One thing is clear right now — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is finally ready to turn to online sports betting as a way to help offset economic hardships the state is facing. What is still unclear is exactly how he plans to do that.

On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo and NYS Director of the Budget Robert Mujica briefly touched on their plans to run the state’s mobile sports betting through the lottery. The idea behind this plan is that it keeps more tax revenue in the hands of the state.

“We want to do sports betting the way the state runs the lottery where the state gets the revenues,” Cuomo said in his Wednesday press conference. “Many states have done sports betting but they basically allow casinos to run their own gambling operations. That makes a lot of money for casinos but it makes minimal money for the state.

“And I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money. I’m here to raise funds for the state. So we have a different model for sports betting.”

Who Gets To Run NY Online Sports Betting?

Cuomo and Mujica were somewhat vague about who will run online sports betting in NY. A release from the Governor’s office offered some clarity on the matter:

“Under Governor Cuomo’s proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select and license a sports operator or platform to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. This operator or platform must have a partnership with one of the existing licensed commercial casinos. The Commission will also require any entity operating mobile wagering apps include safeguards against abuses and addiction.”

This means that one operator will get to run the entire show in New York. This is similar to how things work in Oregon and Rhode Island. The release from the Governor’s office also notes that the operator or platform needs to have a partnership with an in-state casino already. Here’s the current list of online sports betting platforms that fit the bill:

  • Tioga Downs – FanDuel Sportsbook
  • del Lago – DraftKings Sportsbook
  • Resorts World Catskills – Bet365
  • Mohawk – FOX Bet
  • Oneida – Caesars Entertainment/William Hill

Every operator on that list is well-respected in the industry. They are all capable of providing a top-notch online sports betting experience in NY.

However, this approach would still limit options for New Yorkers. Instead of shopping around for the best deals and prices, there would be one choice for mobile sports betting. Take it or leave it.

For New Yorkers who are close enough to New Jersey, why wouldn’t they hop across the border from time to time to look for the best odds, prices, and promos?

There are still plenty of kinks for Governor Cuomo to work out before we know exactly what online sports betting will look like in NY.

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