Cuomo Gets His Mobile NY Sports Betting Way But At What Cost?

Posted on April 6, 2021

Details are beginning to trickle out about what mobile NY sports betting could look like – and it still doesn’t make sense.

It seems like Gov. Andrew Cuomo won with his model, which will require sports betting operators to bid for a chance to offer mobile sports betting in New York.

According to PlayNY, just one or two operators will be selected through the RFP. There will then be no less than four skins available, though it’s not entirely clear how that will work. To win the bid, operators will have to share at least 50% of profits.

The state’s commercial casinos will host the servers. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow told PlayNY he thinks all four casinos will be involved.

How do casinos make money with mobile NY sports betting?

The casinos could still profit from the governor’s structure. That all depends on whether the RFP requires a sports betting operator has a deal in place with a casino, as he included in his 2021 agenda outline:

Under Governor Cuomo’s proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select one or more providers to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. This platform must have a partnership with at least one of the existing licensed commercial casinos. The Commission will also require any entity operating mobile wagering apps include safeguards against abuses and addiction.

That could open the process up to potentially just four to six sportsbooks right now:

  • DraftKings, partnered with Del Lago
  • FanDuel, partnered with Tioga Downs
  • Bet365, partnered with Empire Resorts
  • BetRivers, which is affiliated with Rush Street‘s Rivers Casino

PointsBet and Penn National might be included in that list as well. The two have second-skin agreements with Tioga Downs and Rivers, respectively. It’s not clear if second-skin agreements would count.

Of course, with how confusing the entire process has been, that paragraph could mean any sportsbook operator can bid for a license as long as it gets an agreement with at least one casino to host the servers.

Oneida Indians reportedly unhappy with negotiations

Cuomo and Director of the Budget Rob Mujica waived away concerns of voiding a 2013 settlement with the Oneida Indians that would put the Oneida’s revenue-sharing agreement with the state in jeopardy at a Monday press conference.

Apparently, the two sides aren’t communicating well. The Oneida are on board with what the Senate and Assembly want but take issue with Cuomo’s proposal, according to Tom Precious of the Buffalo News:

The Oneida’s 2013 settlement with the state establishes 10 counties where it has exclusive gaming rights. The issue again comes down to the legal answer of where an online bet is placed, Mujica said.

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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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