The two legislators at the heart of NY sports betting bills have a deal. Whether it’s enough for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo remains to be seen.
Their amended companion bills that authorize mobile sports betting in NY appeared Thursday ahead of a committee meeting planned next week in the Senate.
The new versions of the bills also add language for tribal inclusion, athlete protections and to further address problem gaming.
What’s new in New York sports betting bills
The lawmakers made a handful of adjustments to the sports betting bills they reintroduced earlier this year. These changes include:
- Setting a $12 million initial license fee to be paid into the Commercial Gaming Revenue Fund within 30 days of approval from the New York Gaming Commission. This would be the highest licensing fee in the nation.
- Adding a 12% tax on gross gaming revenues for mobile sports betting to go along with the 8.5% tax previously established for land-based wagering. Those rates track closely with NJ sports betting.
- Clarifies that Indian tribes that have entered into a tribal-state gaming compact will be allowed to register as NY sports betting operators.
- As a stipulation for the integrity fee of 0.20% of all wagers made given to the leagues, the bill requires sports governing bodies have in place procedures to protect athletes, players, umpires, referees, club officials and personnel — and members of their families — from physical attacks, verbal threats or other forms of harassment.
- When an account holder’s lifetime deposits exceed $2,500, the patron’s account is frozen until acknowledging receiving disclosures from the operator concerning problem gambling resources.
- The NY Gaming Commission shall annually cause a report to be prepared and distributed to the governor and legislature on the impact of mobile sports wagering on problem gamblers.
Debate on mobile sports betting to continue
Addabbo is convening a public hearing to gather testimony on the expansion of legal sports betting in New York — including the possibility of mobile NY sports betting — Wednesday in his Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.
Witnesses are expected to address issues of constitutionality associated with online gambling and the experiences of other states, including New Jersey, that have implemented mobile sports wagering.
Facing opposition from Cuomo and an Assembly that doesn’t like to include policy in the budget, Addabbo and the Senate failed in an attempt to get mobile sports betting language into the state budget for the next fiscal year.
New York previously legalized sports betting at four upstate commercial casinos, though they are still awaiting a green light from the NY Gaming Commission to proceed.
“I had hoped the newly enacted New York State Budget would have included authorization for mobile sports betting, but (an) agreement could not be reached by the April 1st deadline,” Addabbo said. “I continue to believe online wagering will create new jobs for state residents and provide a significant source of state revenue to fund education and other vital programs.”