Update: Gov. Cuomo Reaffirms Desire For Government-Bid Online Betting Plan
Gov. Cuomo held a budgetary conference call with reporters this afternoon and noted the online sports betting plan would most likely be through a request for proposal process with sportsbook operators to contract with the state. The number of operators, or which operators, would be allowed to bid is unclear but Cuomo expressed his desire for the state to be the main benefactor of any online sports gambling revenues.
“We’ll contract directly with the mobile sports vendor….we’ll contract with them and we’ll make the money. We don’t need the casinos as a middleman,” he said during the conference.
Cuomo and New York Budget Director Robert Mujica both said the state is drafting an online sports betting bill to honor the terms of the existing Oneida Nation compacts. The bill would not cut the nation or upstate counties out of potential online gambling revenue.
Online gambling is a complicated issue in the state, Cuomo said, and details need to be worked out. If a gambler places an online wager in Oneida Country, for instance, who would get the revenue from the wager? The Oneida Nation? The state? These details need to be worked out in a bill, he said.
Neither the governor or Mujica addressed the potential for any downstate casinos during the conference call.
Will An Online Sports Betting Plan Be In The Budget?
New York’s nearly $200 billion 2022 fiscal year budget is set to pass in the coming days and will include an New York online sports betting plan, according to several reports this morning.
According to Joseph Spector of the Democrat and Chronicle, the tentative budget package will include plans for NY online sports betting, but details of how the plan would be enacted are not available:
New York lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were nearing a budget deal Sunday that would raise about $5 billion in a year in new revenue through higher taxes on the rich and legalizing mobile sports betting.
Yancey Roy of Newsday also reported the fiscal budget included language for an online sports betting plan but officials have yet to agree on specific terms for how it will be run.
Additionally, details on a proposal to accelerate the creation of downstate casinos are still unsettled.
ICYMI: NY lawmakers near deal to raise taxes on wealthy, boost school aid by $1B or more. Enviro bond act – not until 2022. SUNY tuition freeze. Modest prop-tax credit. https://t.co/Z3G2fZcTpt via @Newsday
— Yancey Roy (@YanceyRoy) April 5, 2021
Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr., the chair of the NYS Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, told ESNY there were no updates over the holiday weekend but he expects an update at some point today.
Will Tribal Nations Be Included In A NY Online Sports Betting Deal?
No details have yet to leak about what a potential NY online sports betting deal will look like in the Empire State, or if it will include access to tribal nations in upstate New York.
Sen. Joseph A. Griffo (R-Rome) said late last week the decision to not allow major part of upstate New York from participating in mobile sports betting is “terrible public policy” and could be avoided.
Under the Oneida Indian Nation’s settlement agreement with the state gaming that is not routed through the Oneida Nation cannot take place in the Nation’s exclusivity zone.
If either current sports betting bills were to be enacted, anyone living in Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego and Otsego would be prohibited from participating in mobile sports betting.
Simply put, cutting out major parts of Upstate New York from participating in mobile betting and threatening millions of dollars to our counties is terrible public policy and could easily be avoided. https://t.co/l3kqYa4igp
— Joseph A. Griffo (@SenGriffo) April 3, 2021
Still A Long Way To Go In NY Online Sports Betting Process
Over the weekend, two new bills were introduced and no additional bills were passed. Five of 10 total bills have been introduced and none of the introduced bills contain details on a NY online sports betting plan.
Dan Clark, host of New York NOW, a weekly PBS television show on New York politics and government, reported an online sports betting plan would likely be included in the revenue budget bill which is last on the docket to be introduced.