• Legislators want mobile sports betting in order to keep the gamblers’ money inside the state.
  • Governor Cuomo keeps going back and forth with the process for online sports betting legalization.
  • If all goes as planned, mobile sports betting in New York could launch by the start of football season.

ALBANY, N.Y. – The battle to legalize mobile betting in New York continues to be at the height of discussion. Even with only a month left in the 2019 New York legislative session, Governor Cuomo said on Tuesday in a WAMC interview that he believes lawmakers can get this settled in time.

The Senate’s Gaming and Wagering Committee chairman and mobile sports betting bill sponsor, Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr (D- Howard Beach), went on WCBS Radio shortly afterward to discuss Cuomo’s comments and the overall progress.

On the broadcast, he stated that Governor Cuomo said finalizing the measure is possible this year, which is a change from past comments. Addabbo claims that the governor has evolved on many issues over the year and he is hoping mobile sports betting is the next one.

“It just takes the governor to have a little initiative, said Addabbo. “It happens if he wants it to happen.”

The legislators are standing by and the senator has a strong belief that this policy has enough votes to be approved.

Many of the legislators, including Addabbo, are excited at the possibility simply because the sports betting revenue would remain in the state.

“[New York sports bettors] go under the tunnel. As soon as they pass the Jersey border, they push send, they get off the train, walk back across the platform and go back,” said Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D- Mount Vernon), who has a similar bill filed in his chamber.

Pretlow went on to explain how the state is losing tens of millions of dollars. With the money slated to fund educational programs, there is no reason why legislators and the governor shouldn’t move forward this year.

“Sometimes we’re in the right lane and all the other states are in the left lane going right by us,” said Addabbo.

The biggest hurdle is Governor Cuomo’s belief that allowing mobile wagering would require a constitutional amendment – something that would take years according to Addabbo.

The senator has combatted this by saying as long as the servers are physically located within the upstate and tribal casinos, there would be no need for a change.

Governor Cuomo took note of the response and is steadily working with legislators to figure it out.

“[If approved this session, mobile betting] could happen as early as August or September, which would be football season,” said Addabbo. “That would be a good reasonable timeframe, in my estimation.”

Assuming one of the measures gets approved, the summer will be spent getting the industry up and running by testing the platforms.

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