Online sports betting in NY is approaching a crossroads as budget proposals move forward and controversy plagues Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Keeping track of online sports betting in New York is no easy task. After years of Governor Andrew Cuomo ignoring mobile sports betting entirely, he finally came around on the idea in early 2021. However, his plan differs from the one being offered up by the New York State Senate and Assembly.
Gov. Cuomo and New York State lawmakers must create the budget for fiscal year 2021 by April 1 and based on the proposals in the Senate and Assembly, there is legitimate hope for mobile sports betting in NY.
Anyone paying attention to New York politics right now knows that Gov. Cuomo’s scandals are front and center. Investigators are looking into an alleged cover-up regarding the death toll in nursing homes from COVID-19 and there are mounting sexual harassment allegations hanging over Gov. Cuomo as well.
All of this makes for an unpredictable future for NY online sports betting. Here is everything you need to know about the budget proposals, which could include up to three licenses for downstate resorts, and Gov. Cuomo’s fraught situation.
NYS Assembly/Senate Budget Proposals
By now, it’s well-known that Gov. Cuomo and lawmakers don’t see eye to eye when it comes to sports betting. The Governor favors a lottery-run system that will use one operator. Meanwhile, lawmakers are pushing for a system that would include two licenses for the four retail sportsbooks and three tribal casinos, 14 in total.
JUST IN: New York Senate budget bill released on Sunday with mobile sports wagering included. Provisions appear to be identical to House budget bill released one day earlier. Scroll down to Part "Y" on page 63 for the details on mobile sports betting: https://t.co/sO8NAroeUa
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) March 14, 2021
There are a few additional notes on the identical proposals in the Assembly and Senate:
- Mobile sports betting operators would pay $12 million in licensing fees.
- The tax rate for in-person betting would be set to 8.5% while online sports betting in NY would be 12%.
- Three downstate locations could become destination resort casinos.
- The Assembly and Senate are preparing to push these budgets through on Monday.
Governor Cuomo’s Problems Loom Large
The growing cloud of controversy surrounding Gov. Cuomo is the elephant in the room when it comes to online sports betting in NY. He has long been an opponent of mobile sports betting in the Empire State, only recently changing his stance on the issue.
However, he still favors a single-source model that states like Rhode Island and New Hampshire use. This would result in disgruntled stakeholders and limited options for consumers. It’s unclear how dug-in Gov. Cuomo is on the lottery-run system given the fact that his office has been intentionally vague about the details.
With that said, it’s crystal clear that other issues are at the forefront of his agenda. Not only is Gov. Cuomo trying to manage vaccine rollout and the ongoing pandemic, but he is facing increased scrutiny amidst a probe of COVID-19 death tolls. The New York Attorney General’s Office found that the COVID-19 nursing home deaths may have been underreported by as much as 50%.
And now Gov. Cuomo is dealing with multiple accusations of sexual harassment from women who worked in his office. The combination of COVID-19 scandals and sexual harassment allegations have politicians from both sides of the aisle calling for Gov. Cuomo’s resignation.
Some of the most powerful New York politicians are included in that group. NY representatives Jerrold Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are among the most notable Democrats to call for Gov. Cuomo’s resignation.
In a recent poll from Siena College, 35% of New Yorkers want Gov. Cuomo to resign against 50% that believe he should remain in office.
No matter what the future holds for Gov. Cuomo, online sports betting in NY is coming to a reckoning point. The next few weeks are sure to hold some twists and turns, as is customary in the New York political scene, but there is hope that the finish line is in sight.