What Cuomo’s Political Troubles Could Mean For Mobile NY Sports Betting

Posted on March 8, 2021
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Written By on March 8, 2021

It’s been a bad month for Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The longtime New York governor faces a variety of serious allegations about nursing-home death coverups and sexual misconduct. At present, he is battling through it rather than resigning.

But it could mean his political power is at an all-time low, as the Democratic leaders of the state Assembly and Senate both questioned Cuomo’s continued fitness for office Monday. And Cuomo long has stood as a primary impediment to mobile NY sports betting.

As Bloomberg put it:

“Emboldened New York lawmakers could take on a politically weakened Governor Andrew Cuomo to push their own budget agenda.”

What will online New York sports betting look like?

For proponents of an open mobile NY sports betting market, there could be a political opportunity. Online sports betting is included in the state budget that will be finalized at the end of March. 

But the structure of the market is still up in the air. Cuomo has been vocal about his support for a lottery-run sports betting system that could feature only one operator.

Legislators have put forth plans for a more open market with multiple online skins. Now it appears the legislators find themselves in a stronger negotiating position than in the past.

I would put my money on Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and Senator Joe Addabbo Jr’s legislation,” said Bill Pascrell III, a lobbyist with the Princeton Public Affairs Group. “I don’t think the governor is going to want to fight on that issue. He needs the Democrats and the legislature to stay with him. He can’t just dictate terms now. He’s got to be more collaborative.”

Momentum in NY

The gambling industry is also optimistic on New York sports betting, if recent activity is anything to judge.

PointsBet CEO Sam Swannell said he was confident the state was heading in the right direction. Meanwhile, both Penn National and Golden Nugget recently announced market-access agreements for the state.

The industry has also been making a concerted push to educate lawmakers about the benefits of an open market. After all, New Yorkers are already flooding over the border to bet in New Jersey and will continue to do so if only given one option.

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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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