Chances are mobile sports betting will be approved in New York. But the continued hurdle is the priority of passing an NYS budget and ongoing scandals that surround Governor Andrew Cuomo. In the past few weeks I have reached out to various legislators up in Albany and a majority believe this is a winner.
But there are hurdles to climb before the NYS Assembly and Senate begin the process to a vote. Cuomo has voiced his approval after a negative stance about bringing mobile sports betting to the state.
Next week online sports betting will begin an intense negotiating process as the state budget negotiations go to work. As one legislator informed me, the ongoing budget is a priority as the state faces a $15 billion gap.
Because the political climate up in Albany is tense with the scandal and budget gap, representatives of state officials were cautious with their comments. Many reiterated they have done their homework and surveyed constituents that want to place a bet online in New York but are restricted with online gambling still in the balance.
To many up in Albany, a consensus is taking those bets to New Jersey, a state where handles are high and legal has been inconvenient, costly, and New York could be getting that revenue. Last week state budget director Robert Mujica reiterated, “The Governor is proposing the state could get $500 million a year instead of $50 million and that money would go to the state budget.”
But there are logistics as Cuomo has a proposal to allow the state Gaming Commission to issue a request from other companies that would be selected and licensed to operate the NY state platform.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, it’s also not a huge misconception that politics is making it more complicated in efforts to make New York State the 15th to legalize mobile sports betting. There is an increased demand from fans to avoid commutes across the river to place a bet at the Meadowlands Racetrack and at New Jersey sportsbooks.
I reached out to the office of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx. He is a proponent of app-based sports betting and reiterated a stance that the measure would assist in efforts to close the state budget deficit.
His office released a continuing statement and stated that creating new revenue streams is a priority. How the millions of revenue would be spent and learning more about how online gambling benefits are continuing.
So there appears to be a hint of optimism.
“My concern is what’s the best model to have short-term profit and long-term sustainability for the state, industry and consumer,” was the statement from the office of State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.
“I’d be very concerned on a model based on volume if that model can’t handle the consumers of New York and growth going forward. Bettors look at a variety of products based on which has the best odds, accessible app and reliability. If you don’t provide them that option they like, they’ll go back to Jersey, or go back to doing it illegally and your model fails.”
And that concern about placing a bet illegally has been going on for years which is also more of a reason for lawmakers to get this right. Again, the logistics are to make this work but the reality is bettors will always find a way.
Another legislator pointed out again that in 2019 online betting in New Jersey reported $4.6 wagered with 84 percent coming from online bets.
So this could be a step closer and coming to the table and perhaps in time for the kickoff of the 2021 NFL season in September.
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