Meadowlands Owner: Mobile NY Sports Betting Model A ‘Blessing’ For NJ

Posted on August 11, 2021
NY sports betting
Posted By on August 11, 2021

Owner Jeff Gural cut straight to the point when explaining why his Tioga Downs was not involved in a mobile NY sports betting bid.

“It’s simple: I don’t think anyone’s going to make any money if the tax rate is 51% or whatever they’re referring to,” Gural told LSR. “I think the state’s decision to do it this way was idiotic.”

There were six bids to run online NY sportsbooks, the New York State Gaming Commission announced Monday. One of those bids is led by Gural’s retail sports betting partner, FanDuel Sportsbook. That makes it particularly interesting not to see Gural involved.

Not applying in New York does not mean Gural is completely disappointed, though. He thinks outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s model ultimately helps New Jersey sportsbooks.

“I think this is a blessing for New Jersey and thankfully I own the Meadowlands or I’d really be furious, to tell you the truth,” Gural said.

FanDuel reportedly expects minimal NJ disruption

Gural’s Meadowlands partnered with FanDuel Sportsbook, PointsBet, and SuperBook USA for online betting, and routinely leads NJ sports betting revenue each month. He told a sports betting panel last year that about a third of the $300 million in October betting handle that passed through his partners came from New York residents.

While it is too early for forecasts, he does not see that big of a drop in business coming. Neither does FanDuel, according to Gural.

“In my discussions with FanDuel, they thought the way New York was doing it would have a minimal impact on New Jersey,” Gural said.

Gural felt targeted by mobile NY sports betting legislation

Can Gural be blamed for New York’s suboptimal sports betting legislation? Gural thinks so.

Gural does not have the best relationship with Cuomo or those in the NYSGC. He believes the first round of upstate New York casino licenses was rigged against him winning a license.

The “same people” are involved in the sports betting licensing process, Gural said.

“I thought that the legislature had done it right,” he said of a bill that called for 14 skins. “For all I know, this was intentional on the governor’s part to screw me, truthfully, because he knew I was partnered with FanDuel and that we would dominate in New York. … Since he’s such a vindictive guy it’s entirely possible the goal was to make sure I didn’t make any money.”

With Cuomo on the way out, Gural hopes new incoming Gov. Kathy Hochul will reexamine at the process. That is unlikely to happen, though.

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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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