With Governor Andrew Cuomo stepping down amid a sexual harassment scandal, online sports betting keeps moving forward in New York.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is stepping down in the wake of an investigation that found he sexually harrassed 11 people. The allegations first surfaced last year, but the investigation’s findings were the tipping point that forced Cuomo to resign.
This leaves New York’s legislative plan in flux as Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul prepares to take over in two weeks. The introduction of online sports betting is one area that could be affected in the transition.
Cuomo was against the legalization of NY online sports betting for years but came around in the midst of the financial strain spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although online sports betting is finally legal in New York, it will take months to launch.
Current NY Online Sports Betting Timeline
While we don’t yet know for certain how Cuomo’s resignation will impact NY online sports betting, it’s unlikely to significantly slow down the process and timeline of an official launch. Despite Cuomo’s absence, the major parties remain in place and the wheels of the process are already in motion.
Bids have already been submitted for licenses in the state. These are the six groups vying for two bids:
- DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Bally’s
- PointsBet, BetRivers, WynnBet, Caesars, Resorts World
- Penn National and Fanatics Sportsbook
The New York State Gaming Commission will award two bids, based on varying factors. Of course, the heavy-hitting group at the top looks to be a safe bet to secure a bid.
The NYSGC should have its decision on which groups get bids by the start of 2022. While an exact launch target remains undefined, many believe a Feb. 2022 launch remains in play. Of course, that’s the same month Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest day of the year for sports betting.
New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. has been a force in the New York sports betting sphere for years. He is the chairman on the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee and has been spearheading the push for mobile sports betting in the state.
“Today, Governor Cuomo made the correct decision in stepping down from his position,” Sen. Addabbo said in a statement. “Now for the sake of the 19 million people of this state, we must come together as New Yorkers and continue to move forward in improving the lives of our residents and maintain government services. There is still work to be done and we will rise to this occasion as we always do in the face of challenging times. With enthusiasm, I look forward to working with Kathy Hochul and her administration.”
Reading between the lines of this statement would tell us that things are already moving with or without Cuomo.
The one area of sports betting policy that could change involves downstate casinos. Even after coming around on mobile sports betting, Cuomo remained a steadfast proponent of keeping casinos upstate, at least in the short-term.
It is unclear how Governor Hochul will handle sports betting going forward, but at the very least there is a possible path for downstate casinos in the future.