- New York finally reaches deal on a budget for 2022 that includes legal online sports betting
- New York’s plan will be the single-operator model preferred by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
- Lawmakers and sports betting industry officials preferred a multi-operator model to promote competition
On Tuesday, the state of New York officially announced that it has reached a deal on a budget for the 2022 fiscal year. After a long and seemingly endless negotiation, the new budget does, in fact, allow for the legalization of online sports betting.
While many lawmakers and those within the gambling industry argued for a multi-operator model similar to those used in other states, Governor Andrew Cuomo ultimately got his way with a limited-operator model instead. Under Gov. Cuomo’s plan, the New York Lottery will issue requests for proposals from a pair of mobile betting operators, which would then sublicense “skins” to as many as four different sportsbook operators.
The New York Gaming Commission will now get to work on certain follow-up measures with regard to how the mobile sports betting industry will operate. Lawmakers are optimistic that New York’s new mobile sports betting industry will open at some point late in the summer before the beginning of the 2021 football season.
Mobile Sports Betting is coming soon in NYS.
This program will provide annual funding for education, youth sports and more. pic.twitter.com/YAUndCu3ZL
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 7, 2021
DraftKings, BetRivers, FanDuel, and bet365 already operate sportsbooks at casinos in upstate New York, and those four would seem to have an inside track when it comes to obtaining statewide mobile licenses. In-person sports betting is already legal at those four land-based casinos, but online wagering is barred statewide.
Cuomo Gets His Way
Back in January, Cuomo said, “We want to do sports betting the way the state runs the lottery where the state gets the revenues. Many states have done sports betting but they basically allow casinos to run their own gambling operations. That makes a lot of money for casinos but it makes minimal money for the state. And I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money. I’m here to raise funds for the state. So we have a different model for sports betting.”
Other New York lawmakers have worried about the potential monopoly and lack of competition under Cuomo’s preferred plan. There are some that believe the model could be unconstitutional, as well. Neighboring states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have opened industries that allow for multiple casinos to operate legal sportsbooks, which creates quite a bit of competition.
New York has been eager to legalize sports betting with New Yorkers continuously flocking out of state to bet legally over the past couple of years.
The online industry has exploded in the US over the past couple of years. In states with legal sports betting, the vast majority of bets are placed online. In New Jersey, a whopping 90 percent of all sports bets are placed over the internet or via a mobile device. Once the state opens its own industry, New York will easily be the most populous state in the US with a legalized industry of its own. A recent survey reported that an impressive 20 percent of the sports bets placed in New Jersey are made by residents of New York City that cross the border.