Governor Andrew Cuomo doubled down on his opposition to mobile NY sports betting in a Monday interview.
In an interview with WAMC‘s Alan Chartock, Cuomo downplayed the potential impact of sports betting on the Empire State. He also dismissed the revenue realized in NJ sports betting as a trivial amount:
Sports betting, first of all, does not make you that much money. New Jersey has sports betting, it’s on TV all the time. You can’t turn on the darn TV without seeing it. They raised something like $13 million dollars – $13 million dollars is a rounding error in our state. So I don’t even think the economic benefit is there.
Cuomo, legislators disagree on NY sports betting
Cuomo left mobile NY sports betting out of his proposed budget. His budget director indicated the governor believes a constitutional amendment would be needed to authorize mobile in New York.
“I am not a fan, pardon the pun, of the new mobile sports betting. You can bet any time from your cell phone,” Cuomo said.
Key legislators including Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow disagree, and will push for a legislative solution. The legislators did not immediately return requests for comment Monday.
More than 80 percent of NJ sports betting revenue in February came via mobile or online channels.
Limited NY sports betting OK with Cuomo
Cuomo does not oppose all NY sports betting. The governor pushed for a previously voter-approved version to start up in his State of the State speech in January.
The governor reiterated that call Monday:
“We have sports betting that you can do through a casino and we are trying to support our casinos, which, you know, we did primarily upstate as an economic development vehicle. I’ve never been crazy about casinos, but life is options.
Many upstate communities, we have a prison industry or nothing. So the casinos, especially the way we did it, they are high-paying jobs, they’re jobs with mobility, this would help fortify the upstate casinos.”
New York voters backed a 2013 law that authorizes four upstate casinos to offer sports betting to on-site customers. Those casinos, though, likely would do little to staunch the well-known flow of New Yorkers traveling to New Jersey to place wagers.
The wait might be over soon
The state gaming commission issued proposed rules and regulations to govern New York sports betting earlier this year. The review period for those rules expires in late March.
The rules do not include mobile sports betting for New York, which is little surprise considering Cuomo’s opposition. Those also would govern tribal casinos wishing to offer legal sports betting.
New York tribes can offer any casino game approved for commercial casinos. The Oneida Indian Nation announced a partnership with Caesars Entertainment in January to bring sports betting to three upstate casinos — Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino and Point Place Casino.