Who will win the right to convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo that mobile NY sports betting needs to happen?
Bids are in to conduct a gaming study, which includes sports betting in New York.
Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. shared with Legal Sports Report that four companies responded to a request for proposal (RFP) to conduct a comprehensive study on the current gaming landscape in the state, along with how it could be affected by varying levels of sports betting expansion.
The New York State Gaming Commission, which Addabbo noted made the decision to pursue the study on its own, is set to announce the winning bid at its Aug. 12 meeting.
Scope of NY sports betting study
The RFP instructs that the NY sports betting study provides an analysis of the potential market and impacts for:
- Sports wagering only at commercial casinos
- Sports wagering expanded to video lottery gaming and off-track betting (OTB) facilities
- Online sports wagering
The RFP adds a note specifying that the report “shall clearly indicate these analyses presume that a constitutional amendment has passed authorizing such activity.”
Lawmakers hope to avoid constitutional amendment
Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow prefer to expand New York sports betting offerings next year without the potential three-year delay of seeking a constitutional amendment.
Sports wagering already is permitted in New York at upstate commercial and tribal casinos following a 2013 referendum and rules issued by the commission in June.
Addabbo and Pretlow contend that the commercial casinos’ approval extends to taking online bets through servers housed at their facilities. That could include partnering with affiliates (sports facilities, OTBs) to place online betting kiosks in their locations.
Thus far, Cuomo has disagreed.
Sports betting report could improve prospects
Addabbo is hoping the study will ignite discussion to get a broader expansion of NY sports betting that the Senate passed at the end of this year’s session into next year’s state budget.
The Senate included mobile wagering in its last budget proposal, but it got no traction with the Assembly or governor.
As budget discussions began last time around, Cuomo discounted the fiscal impact of the money New York was missing out on without mobile sports betting. Addabbo couldn’t change his mind, but the senator hopes a study can.
“If the study is done correctly, it should be a useful tool as we prepare for the budget process and negotiations start in January,” Addabbo said.
Numbers will be key to push for NY mobile
Addabbo, though, has no control over what the study will produce.
“A study is only as good as those implementing it,” Addabbo said.
Sports betting is just getting started at NY’s upstate casinos. He is concerned that upcoming fourth-quarter gambling numbers tend to be lower.
“Fourth quarters, people have less expendable money for gaming with the holidays and end of the year,” Addabbo said. “Even with those numbers, I’m hoping the study is done correctly, and the numbers are credible.”
To that end, Addabbo indicated that he had asked all of the state’s industry stakeholders to reach out to the commission and provide their data to the study.
Dates to know for the NY sports betting study
The commission is pushing for a quick turnaround on the study to have the results ready to inform the next legislative session. After the commission chooses the company to conduct the study Aug. 12, work on the study is set to begin Sept. 1.
The first draft is due Nov. 29, with the final report turned in before the champagne comes out on New Year’s Eve.