Closed Mobile NY Sports Betting Model Gets Double-Down From Cuomo

Posted on January 19, 2021
NY sports betting

Governor Andrew Cuomo has doubled down on his vision for state-run mobile NY sports betting.

Presenting the state’s FY 2022 budget in Albany on Tuesday, Cuomo reiterated his plans to run New York sports betting like the state lottery.

“The question isn’t whether or not we do mobile sports betting,” Cuomo said. “The question is more how and who makes the profit. This is very lucrative. One proposal is we allow casinos to run mobile sports betting. That’s very good for casinos and the people who support casinos. 

“The second alternative is to have the people of the state of New York actually get the profits from mobile sports betting and run it the way we run the state lottery. That’s where it’s state run and the state gets all the revenue.

“I’m with the people. I believe the people of the state should get the revenues. This is not a moneymaker for private interests to collect just more tax revenue. We want the actual revenue from the sports betting.”

No Cuomo shift on NY sports betting

The comments are similar to Cuomo’s previous rhetoric on sports betting in New York. His budget director, Robert Mujica, said the lottery model would help the state generate $500 million a year in revenue rather than $50 million in an open model.

The assertion that a state-run model can produce 10 times the revenue of an open market is, at best, unproven elsewhere in the US.

There was some hope Cuomo may have softened his stance to permit a more open sports betting market. The industry has been lobbying to point out the consumer benefits of choice. 

Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have also filed NY sports betting bills calling for at least eight online operators, with as many as 14 a possibility.

Legislature moves on another model

Addabbo advanced his bill through the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee this morning. The next step is the Senate Finance Committee.

However those plans are likely dead in the water if Cuomo is set on the state-run model. They could be in danger regardless if the Assembly shows the same reluctance to consider mobile NY sports betting as it has in past years.

The governor’s plan would instruct the New York State Gaming Commission to choose an online sports betting operator via a request for proposal process.

New Hampshire is perhaps the most similar model, where DraftKings pays 51% of its revenues to the state in return for a monopoly. DraftKings offered New Hampshire regulators various models, some of which would allow other operators but return a smaller share of DK’s revenue.

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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