he New York State Senate and Assembly greenlighted a mobile sports betting framework within their budget bills Monday.
The Senate advanced its budget proposal 43-20, and the Assembly followed seconds later with a 106-43 vote, as reported by Action Network.
The multi-operator provision, favored by sportsbooks, gaming stakeholders and the gambling industry at large, runs against the single or limited operator model proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who backs a more lottery-like plan. The competitive market framework’s budget inclusion underscores lawmakers’ confidence they can overcome Cuomo’s opposition. The Legislature is kicking off talks with the governor over a new state budget that is due by March 31.
In addition, Democrats who control the Senate and Assembly are pressing to add three new commercial casinos in the New York City area with a nudge to potentially helping make one of them located at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The legislative measures would permit mobile sports betting kiosks at racetracks, as well as at off-track betting parlors and stadiums. Mobile sports betting revenue would be taxed at 12% by the state under the legislative bills, slightly above the 10% national median average. The $12 million initial licensing fee would be among the US highest.
Retail sportsbooks would be taxed at 8% GGR. The bill authorizes retail betting at certain off-track betting facilities as well as large professional sports stadiums such as Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium.
Currently, sports wagering in New York is permitted only at four commercial casinos and casinos owned by three upstate Native American tribes. Legislation the two houses submitted over the weekend are closely aligned with only some relatively minor word choice differences between the Senate and Assembly.
Both chambers must now reconcile key differences in a joint conference committee before mobile wagering can pass into law ahead of the legally-mandated April 1 deadline. Cuomo’s limited-operator model and lawmakers’ competitive market remain the pivotal divide preventing mobile legalization. Legislators are largely unified behind tax rates, license allocation and other key details that have stalled or killed similar proposals in other states.
Both the Assembly and Senate bills would allow two online licenses, or “skins,” to each of the four commercial casinos as well as the state’s three Native American gaming tribes. This would create as many as 14 possible skins, roughly the same as neighboring Pennsylvania but fewer than New Jersey, the nation’s largest market by handle.
BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel and Bet365 all have retail commercial casino sportsbook deals that would translate to online options under the bill. Caesars / William Hill, Stars Group / FOX Bet and Kambi have tribal partnerships. Penn National’s Barstool Sportsbook already has a deal for BetRivers’ second skin should this bill pass. Golden Nugget has a second-skin agreement with FanDuel’s commercial casino partner, Tioga Downs. Other top sportsbook operators such as MGM would also be in the mix for an online license. MGM purchased Yonkers Raceway partially to gain a retail foothold for a potential BetMGM sportsbook or online casino.