Senator Joe Addabbo

  • With the Coronavirus racking New York and greatly depleting its budget, mobile sports betting could provide tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in economic relief.
  • New York residents can already enjoy mobile sports betting either in New Jersey or with international online sportsbooks.
  • The 2020 legislative session is already over, but through a coordinated effort, New York could still likely be ready to launch mobile sports betting by Super Bowl LV.

ALBANY, N.Y. – On Sunday, New York Senator Joseph Addabbo expressed a desire to pass a mobile sports betting bill as soon as possible to aid New York’s financial recovery from the Coronavirus.

New York already neglected to add mobile sports betting when it passed its most recent budget. That oversight will cost the New York government millions of dollars, and Addabbo wants to act quickly to rectify that mistake before 2021.

“We do not, as a state, have the luxury of declining revenue at this point,” said Addabbo in an interview with CBS2’s Steve Overmyer. “We have a severe budget deficit. Even prior to the coronavirus we had it, so now there’s a need for revenue.”

A major complication for Addabbo’s efforts is that the 2020 New York legislative session is already “effectively over,” per Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Legislators can still work to prepare the framework for future legislation, but nothing is likely to be passed until the next legislative session begins in January 2021.

Will New York Have Mobile Sports Betting By 2021?

When asked what his biggest hurdle was in his efforts to pass mobile sports betting legislation, Addabbo pointed the finger at Governor Cuomo.

“We’ve seen in the past when Governor Cuomo wants something, we get it done. I’m only hoping to work with his administration and convince his administration that this is an issue to work on.”

Cuomo announced this week that New York would be reopening its car and horse racing tracks in June, albeit without spectators, suggesting that doing so could aid economic recovery for the state.

Mobile sports betting revenues would dwarf horse betting revenues, which means there is a strong economic incentive for Cuomo to embrace mobile betting.

Residents of New York City already flock to nearby New Jersey to place mobile sports bets, which is a big reason New Jersey has become the biggest sports betting market in the U.S., ahead of even Nevada.

Without mobile sports betting of its own, New York is leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table, which the state can’t really afford to do during such an unprecedented budgetary crisis.

It seems likely that Cuomo will work with legislators now so that New York can have a comprehensive mobile betting bill ready by the start of its next legislative session.

If such a bill were to pass in January, New York’s proximity to New Jersey could allow major operators like DraftKings and FanDuel could enter the market almost immediately.

If New York does move to legalize mobile sports betting, expect it to do so prior to next year’s Super Bowl, or, failing that, before March Madness.

Those two events are by far the most popular for bettors and would serve as a way to ensure a successful launch for mobile sports betting.

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