New York has approved a budget for its fiscal year 2022 that would legalize online and mobile sports betting in the state for the first time.
The Senate voted in favor of the massive $212 billion budget agreement Tuesday overnight, and the Assembly still has a few bills to vote on before it all heads to the governor's desk. New York will approve a limited-operator, government-bid online sports betting model that was backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and opposed by most state lawmakers and the gaming industry at large.
On Tuesday, Cuomo announced an agreement worked out with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, which will be passed as part of the state’s $200 billion fiscal year 2022 budget. The New York Lottery would issue requests for proposals from two mobile betting operators, which would then subcontract out licenses (skins) to four sportsbook operators. The operators would be required to give between 50% and 55% of their mobile revenues back to the state.
New York would become the most populous state to legalize mobile sports betting, creating a new revenue stream estimated at $500 million annually, according to state Budget Director Robert Mujica. “When the budget ends, that’s when the work starts,” state Sen. Joseph Addabbo told The Action Network Tuesday. He explained that the New York Gaming Commission would work on further regulatory follow-up measures. Officials are hoping to launch online sports betting by September, ahead of the 2021 football season.
Tuesday’s announcement was a blow to most industry stakeholders and Democratic lawmakers, who had pushed a competitive model with more licenses. Addabbo said New York’s online sports betting model could change in early 2022 if it doesn’t meet expectations.
Cuomo promised during a Monday press conference that the state’s three gaming tribes would also be included in online sports betting. The Oneida Nation (which already had a preemptive deal with Caesars/William Hill), Akwesasne Mohawk (FOX Bet) and Senneca tribes pushed for legal sports betting options during budget deliberations, but could be excluded from statewide mobile wagering.
The budget legislation will also reportedly exclude in-stadium betting kiosks at Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden and other major New York sports venues lawmakers had supported.