As New York races to a midnight deadline for the approval of its Fiscal Year 2022 budget, New York gamblers should keep a close eye on the possible inclusion of online sports gambling language in the projected $200 billion budget.
Governor Andrew Cuomo stoked excitement for the possibility of online sports gambling in NY when he hinted at it as a possible revenue source in January. However, Cuomo and lawmakers have differed in opinion on how the sports betting plan should be rolled out in the state. Cuomo has long favored a single-entity, lottery run system that would mirror Rhode Island’s and New Hampshire’s current systems for online sports betting.
The economic and revenue outlook for the fiscal year 2022 executive budget provided the following information on how sports wagering would work in the state:
Legislation proposed with this Budget would authorize online sports wagering in NYS. The Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select and license a platform provider to offer online sports wagering in New York. This platform provider 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.
DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers and Bet365 all have partnerships with existing licensed commercial casinos.
Meanwhile, New York lawmakers, including Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr., the chair of the NYS Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, favor a more competitive system. The Senate and Assembly’s proposal for online sports wagering includes a system that would include two licenses for the four retail sportsbooks and three tribal casinos, 14 in total.
The proposals also include:
- 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.
NY Online Sports Wagering Negotiations Continue
However, it was reported by Darren Rovell this week that Addabbo reached out to Cuomo and proposed a hybrid online sports gambling program in an attempt to include online sports gambling language in the new budget.
The hybrid model would likely make the state-run program more inclusive for mobile sportsbook operators.
Would this mean additional sportsbook operators or additional revenue sharing with potential partners?
If Not In The Budget, Then What?
If an online sports wagering plan is not included in the final adopted budget, there is still hope for online betting moving forward. Standalone bills could be adopted.
Just this week the state Senate voted 40-23 to pass a bill legalizing adult-use cannabis. The state Assembly voted 100-49 in favor of the bill and Cuomo said in a statement he would be signing the bill into law.
It’s possible an online sports wagering bill could see the same results if not included in the budget. The New York legislative session is scheduled to conclude in mid-June, so lawmakers have nearly six weeks to work on a deal.