April 6, 2021 Sports Betting, Legal, Online

New York reaches deal on mobile sports betting with limited-operator model

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers worked out an agreement to legalize mobile sports betting under a limited-operator model, announced with the state’s 2022 budget.

The model, which was supported by Cuomo, will give the New York Lottery the authority to issue proposal requests from two sportsbook operators. As many as four licenses, otherwise known as skins, will be subcontracted to sports betting operators.

State Sen. Joe Addabbo, one of New York’s fiercest advocates for sports betting, told Tom Precious of Buffalo News that a bill will be formally introduced late Tuesday. There will be no sports betting kiosks at stadiums or horse racetracks.

It’s unclear whether the state’s three gaming tribes will be allowed to offer mobile sports betting.

Two tribes, the Oneida Nation and Akwesasne Mohawk, already have partnered with sportsbook operators (Oneida with Caesars/William Hill, Akwesasne Mohawk with Fox Bet) in anticipation of one day offering legalized sports betting.

New York casinos upstate have offered retail sports betting since June 2019. Operators presently running brick and mortar sports wagering are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers and bet365.

Addabbo said the state hopes to begin accepting online sports bets by late 2021. Some New York lawmakers are optimistic mobile sports wagering will be available by the start of the NFL season this fall.

Cuomo’s embrace of mobile sports betting is a 180 turn from his prior stance on the activity, but the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impacts on the state budget forced the governor to think of new revenue streams.

"New York was ambushed early and hit hardest by COVID, devastating our economy and requiring urgent and unprecedented emergency spending to manage the pandemic,” Cuomo said. “"Thanks to the State's strong fiscal management and relentless pursuit to secure the federal support that the pandemic demanded, we not only balanced our budget, we are also making historic investments to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York in the aftermath of the worst health and economic crisis in a century.”

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