Hope for mobile NY sports betting dies year after year in the New York State Assembly.
In 2021, though, it appears the lower chamber will give life to its chances.
The Assembly included mobile New York sports betting in its one-house budget released Saturday evening. The details of the included proposal appear largely to mirror A 1257, which cleared the Racing and Wagering Committee in late January:
- New York’s four commercial casinos and three tribal operators each would be allowed up to two mobile skins
- Each operator would owe a $12 million licensing fee.
- The retail sports betting revenue tax rate would be 8.5% for retail bets and the mobile rate would be 12%.
- Off-track betting facilities can partner with a casino to host betting kiosks.
What’s next for NY sports betting?
The Assembly budget inclusion greatly increases the likelihood of mobile sports betting in New York gaining legislative approval. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie did not even allow a vote on Senate-backed legislation for mobile betting in NY in 2019.
Daunting steps remain, however. The proposal from Assemblyman Gary Pretlow differs significantly from that of Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The embattled governor finally warmed to mobile wagering this year but wants a state-run monopoly through the lottery. Cuomo and his budget director believe the monopoly model will maximize state revenue, although early US results indicate that is not correct.
The Senate also creates a one-house budget in New York, though Sen. Joe Addabbo moved a bill mirroring Pretlow’s (S 1183) through committee in January. The takeaway is there will be three budget proposals to reconcile in the Empire State.
Will New York sportsbooks go mobile?
History suggests a cautious approach to any sliver of light for mobile NY sports betting. Budgets as large as New York’s contain thousands of moving parts that require negotiation and compromise.
That being said, measures included in budget proposals reflect aligned priorities among legislators and Heastie’s approval carries weight. Standalone bills like the ones advanced in previous years face a more difficult road to passage.
The legislative and executive branches will work in the coming weeks to find common ground on NY sports betting and other issues. Mobile wagering remains a long way away but appears to have a clearer path to success than in past years.