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The Empire State isn’t planning on any revenue from mobile NY sports betting in the next fiscal year.
As expected, Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers finalized the state budget Wednesday without expanding New York sports betting.
Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. told Legal Sports Report he believed it was irresponsible that Cuomo didn’t embrace new revenue streams in a budget that includes $10 billion in operational spending cuts because of the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who chair the legislature’s gaming committees, also hoped to include expediting of downstate casinos. They estimated that the gambling additions could generate $1.5 billion in state revenue over the 2020-21 fiscal year.
“Health care, education, and other cuts could have been minimized,” Addabbo said.
Pretlow and Addabbo intended on including the gambling proposals in the Senate and Assembly budget proposals. However, after Assembly members tested positive for coronavirus, the legislature scratched the one-house budgets and skipped right to negotiating with the governor.
Once Cuomo didn’t include mobile in his executive budget, its inclusion in the final product was a long shot.
During budget discussions last week, Senate leadership did propose including online wagering to the governor but were turned down, according to Addabbo.
Cuomo has cited constitutionality concerns, a belief that people shouldn’t be able to gamble from their phones, and limited state revenue from the activity in dismissing mobile NY sports betting in the past.
State tax and fee revenue from New York sports betting and expediting casinos would have been designated for education.
State lawmakers hope to use the results of a comprehensive gaming market study commissioned by the New York State Gaming Commission to further their push for mobile sports wagering and expedited downstate casinos.
That first draft of the study, conducted by Spectrum Gaming Group over the past five months, is due April 1.
Contacted by LSR, Joe Weinert, executive vice president for Spectrum Gaming Group, declined to answer if the firm had turned in the report. He said it was up to the gaming commission to answer that question.
However, Brad Maione, spokesman for the NYSGC, also would not confirm if the draft report was in. Maione would only point out that the draft report should not be confused with a publicly available final report.
The final draft of the NY gaming market study is due June 1.
Sports betting in New York did receive one mention in the budget.
As established in Cuomo’s original budget proposal, New York is eliminating the requirement that casinos need to restrict sports betting to a designated lounge within the property.
Addabbo indicated that he would continue to push for mobile sports wagering this year. New York’s legislative session ends June 2. That could change because of coronavirus concerns.
“I’m hopeful for revenue measures subsequent to the budget,” Addabbo said. “I won’t stop advocating for mobile sports betting.”