• New York’s budget bill proposal passed by majority vote on Monday night in both chambers with online sports betting listed as a revenue source.
  • There are three bills currently open for the legalization of mobile sports betting in the New York State Assembly.
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo sees legal mobile sportsbooks as a source of revenue that could help New York with its major budget crisis.

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York is getting closer to having the idea of legal mobile sportsbooks be more than just an idea but one that becomes an actual law as talks continue to ensue. Pulling late hours, the New York State Assembly and the New York Senate approved a budget proposal on Monday that included a mobile sports betting industry where multiple operators would be allowed to open for business in the Empire State.

The Senate voted 43-20 in favor of the proposal and the Assembly saw a favorable 106-43 vote to move the budget bill forward with mobile sportsbooks as a part of the package.

This may seem like a small step as actual voting on the bills to legalize mobile sports wagering in New York have not yet made their way through both chambers with approvals, but this is in fact a huge stepping stone for the market. The majority of lawmakers are showing that they are now in favor of online sports wagering platforms in the state to become a legal business.

Hard Work To Pass Legislation Still Lies Ahead

Senate Bill 1183 and Assembly Bill 1257 are the bills that are being referenced in the current budget proposal because they are mirroring bills that stipulate for a maximum of 14 mobile sports betting operators to launch their applications in the state. The seven land-based casinos in New York would receive two online skins to have two separate platforms for sports wagering with cellphone apps at a 12% tax rate on GGR and a $12 million licensing fee per skin.

This differs from the structure of the bill that Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to see become the landscape for legal New York mobile sports betting. Under the Governor’s draft, the state lottery would run the industry to enable the bulk of profits to go to the state rather than the casino business as would be seen with the other two proposals.

Cuomo wants to see mobile sports betting as a revenue stream for New York that would help with the major budget deficits caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. Although many have urged him to budge on his format for the market, he has been set in his idea of it being a solo operation run by the lottery as he is only interested in gaining profits for New York and not the casinos of New York.

This will be the battle that lawmakers in the Empire State will face moving forward to get legal mobile sportsbooks statewide. Even if one of the two bills passes in both chambers, Cuomo will have the final say as to whether or not they become law. If his past is any indication, it’s usually the Governor’s way or the highway or in this case, the bridge as New Yorkers will have to continue to drive into New Jersey to access the Garden State’s sportsbook applications should no bills receive his approval.

What’s Next?

All three bills to expand legal sports betting in New York have until June 18 to be discussed and approved. Should the multiple operator proposals that were included in the budget bill pass, Bet365, BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, William Hill, FOX Bet, and Kambi are all applications that are expected to roll out mobile platforms as they have land-based operations in the Empire State already.

New Jersey receives 20% of its handle from New Yorkers every month. That is all money that could stay in New York once an industry becomes legal. Cuomo expects to see $500 million in revenue annually and $2 billion in handle with his bill. At this point, New York is looking at a $15 billion budget deficit that a legal mobile sportsbook industry could help them come back from and the budget proposal sees this and embraces the idea.

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