What’s Next In Mobile NY Sports Betting Negotiation Between Cuomo, Legislators?

Posted on March 17, 2021
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Written By on March 17, 2021

Two of the biggest proponents for mobile NY sports betting will officially be at the negotiating table with the governor.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. were both placed on the Economic Development Committee this week. That committee will, among other topics, handle negotiations over the mobile NY sports betting proposal made by both the Assembly and Senate in their one-house budgets.

Addabbo told LSR on Tuesday the fact that there’s common ground with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who also supports mobile sports betting this year, is a good starting point. Now, Pretlow is ready for the two to fight to get their model approved.

“The two of us in tandem will try to pressure the governor’s office to accept our proposal,” Pretlow said.

New York must approve a budget by April 1. How focused Cuomo can be and what influence he holds on budget negotiations remains an important question as the embattled governor faces multiple scandals.

Stakeholders back legislative NY sports betting bill

Like most years, Addabbo and Pretlow don’t have an easy task in front of them. Cuomo’s proposal for sports betting is quite different and calls for a much narrower market than the legislative proposal.

That has led to significant support for Addabbo and Pretlow’s proposal. That includes tribal casino operators, sportsbook operators, sports leagues and their player associations, potential affiliate operators and more, Pretlow said:

“I’ve spoken to numerous stakeholders in sports betting and every single one of them does not like the governor’s plan and loves our plan,” Pretlow said. “It’s been said by an expert in this field that the plan the senator and I have put forward is the best sports betting bill in the entire nation because it has everyone’s concurrence.”

To be fair, it probably was not hard to get the leagues on their side. The proposal includes both official league data for in-play bets and an integrity fee of 0.2% of handle.

The two legislators authored billsS 1138 and A 1257 – that propose two skins per casino operator for 14 total, a $12 million upfront fee and a 12% mobile sports betting tax rate.

Tax rate could be a negotiating point

Both Addabbo and Pretlow know there is going to be something they have to give up to get this done. Considering Cuomo wants to see the state get more revenue through his model, those taxes and upfront fees might have to change.

Pretlow said both are options to negotiate, though he would really rather not.

“I’d prefer not to [change] either one of them,” Pretlow said. “If I had to do one, I would opt for raising the tax rate.”

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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