New York lawmakers have dropped a provision to expand mobile sports betting licenses in the state’s 2023 budget.
The budget also dropped another proposal that would have gradually expanded sportsbooks — mandating two additional skins by January 2023 and authorizing up to 14 legal sportsbooks by 2023 and 16 by 2024.
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Why Was The New York Sports Betting Proposal Dropped?
The most likely reason is tax revenue. Currently, the state has the highest tax rate on mobile sports betting in the nation — at 51%. Since mobile sports betting launched in January, New York has raked in over $150 million in tax revenue.
In the proposal to expand mobile sports betting licenses, Pretlow allowed for a gradual increase of sportsbooks balanced by a gradual decrease of the tax rate on mobile sports betting.
For example, the rate would drop to 50% after adding one more license. Once the number of sportsbooks increased to 15, the rate would drop to 25%.
But analysis shows that this trade-off might hurt tax revenue. Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Chair Joe Addabbo told Legal Sports Report that the changes might be premature, given that New York’s sports betting market only launched three months ago.
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Future Of New York Gaming Still Bright
Despite nixing the expansion of mobile betting licenses, New York lawmakers are increasingly positive about sports betting and gaming in general.
Sen. Addabbo has sponsored a bill to legalize mobile casinos in the state through partnerships with retail casinos, New York State tribal nations, and independent contractors.
And Gov. Hochul has expressed interest in opening retail casinos in New York City, which former Governor Andrew Cuomo adamantly opposed.
For now, though, the 2023 budget doesn’t include new changes to mobile sports betting. Gov. Hochul said the new budget should be passed within days. The deal was already six days late after an extension from April 1.
Hochul said in a press conference Thursday that the agreed-upon budget is $220 billion and is both balanced and fiscally responsible.