Summary: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to oppose mobile sports betting for the state.
We all know that for gambling to be successful in this day and age, operators must have some type of online presence. Consumers rely heavily on their mobile devices and without a mobile or online option, players are going to be less likely to use a product.
For online gambling, the most success has been seen online. New Jersey is a prime example as to how online game play increases revenues for the state coffers. Because of the importance of mobile gaming, many states are now trying to get in the action. West Virginia and Rhode Island are in prime positioning to begin offering mobile gaming. New York has considered the option, but the Governor remains opposed to progress and reality.
No Mobile Says Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York States continues to be opposed to mobile sports betting. In an interview this week with WAMC, Cuomo discussed sports betting and downplayed the impact of the industry on the state. Cuomo even went so far as to dismiss the amount of revenues earned in neighboring state New Jersey.
According to the Governor, sports betting does not make that much money. He stated that New Jersey earned something like $13 million and that is a rounding error in New York, not something that is an economic benefit in New Jersey.
When he proposed the budget for the state, Cuomo decided to leave out sports betting as a revenue source. Reportedly, the governor feels that a constitutional amendment would have to be made in order to allow for mobile sports betting in the state.
Cuomo has pointed out in the past that he is not a fan of mobile sports betting. However, lawmakers are not in agreement. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. feel that mobile gaming needs to be addressed.
Looking at New Jersey is a clear indication. While the governor wants to dismiss what the neighboring state is accomplishing, it cannot be ignored. Over 80% of the sports betting revenue for the state from February came via online or mobile wagering. This percentage clearly shows that players want to be able to take their gaming on the go.
Governor Cuomo apparently wants to see sports betting limited within New York state. He has pushed for certain criteria in the past and continues to want to see sports betting offered but with limits set. During the recent interview, Cuomo pointed out that he is not crazy about casinos but wants to support those in the state. The governor wants to keep sports betting at casinos for revenue support, but go no further, basically ignoring the benefits of online/mobile gaming.
In 2013, voters of the state decided to authorize the four casinos located upstate to provide sports betting to customers on-site. The casinos have yet to see the estimated revenues projected, so sports betting would hopefully bring in new revenues.
Rules and regulations were proposed earlier in the year and the review period for the options expires later on this month. The rules do not include mobile sports betting. The regulations and rules do include the upstate casinos as well as tribal venues.
Tribal casinos can offer anything that commercial casinos do, so they are given the opportunity to provide sports betting as well. The Oneida Indiana Nation will be offering sports betting via three casinos after announcing a partnership with Caesars Entertainment.
New York operators are ready to get started, so hopefully everything will be in place soon so that services can begin. It will be interesting to see how the industry fares without the inclusion of online and/or mobile wagering.