One step closer to sports betting in New York State

The New York lawmakers’ budget proposals bring the prospects of new casinos licences and the mobile sports betting, a step closer to reality. Both the Senate and New York State House Assembly’s budget proposals differ from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan which could prevent New York from getting down to business for a little while.

Competitive market versus limited-operator model

Will 2021 be the year that mobile sports betting was introduced to New York? The answer seems to be positive as both houses of the legislature have included mobile betting in their 2021-2022 budget’s proposal.

In contrast to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s lottery-driven model, the Senate budget proposal – S 2509B – allows multiple operators in a bid to encourage increased competition and choice throughout the state.

On the other hand, the Assembly bill – Bill A 3009- closer to Assemblyman Gary Pretlow’s bill in its content, provides for each New York’s seven casinos – four commercial casinos and three tribal operators- to be permitted up to two mobile skins with a licencing fee of $12m per operators.

If all goes to plan that would mean that 20 licenses could be granted across the exciting casinos with three new venues to come.

A 12% tax has been set for mobile and 8.5% for terrestrial betting, whereas off-track betting facilities will be authorised to partner with a casino to host on-site self-service kiosks.

Regarding the proposed three downstate casinos, the set date for applications is July 1 with each applicant required to pay $500m in licensing fees. The first in line to apply for sports betting licenses could be the two existing downstate casinos – The Empire City in Yonkers and Resorts World Casino in Queens.

Patience is in order

The sports betting industry holds its breath. There will be negotiation and compromise to find common ground between the parties at stake. The Senate and the Assembly to start with, which will have to resolve key differences over their respective budget proposals.

However, the pivotal divide remains the market model to adopt – the legislators’ free-market approach or Governor Andrew Cuomo’s single-operator vision.

Rest reassured the aligned budget proposals from the legislators and the burgeoning sports betting returns of the neighbouring New Jersey and Pennsylvania may just conceive the Governor soon.

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