Two Bills Filed to Bring Online Sports Betting to New York

Earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he supported legalizing online sports betting in the state.

Now, New York is one step closer to legalizing online sports betting across the state.

On Thursday, New York lawmakers announced that two bills were filed that would bring things one step closer to legalization in 2021.

Lawmakers proposed that each of New York’s four commercial casinos, as well as the three Native American tribe-run venues, to be able to join with up to two sportsbook partners to provide fans with an online sports betting experience.

If passed, the bill would also allow fans to participate in online betting experiences in stadiums and arenas across that state that can seat 15,000 or more people. If any casino decides to partner with an arena or stadium, fans would be able to find betting kiosks where they would be able to deposit funds or make in-person bets on games without much hassle.

Another important aspect of the proposed bill is the fact that any sportsbook in the state would be required to pay a one-time $12 million licensing fee, but that would not be too detrimental for anyone involved.

After all, the lawmakers who penned the bill expect that online sports betting in New York could generate anywhere around $79 million in revenue per year.

The one thing that won’t be allowed if the bill is passed would be betting on in-state college games, whether that be a random basketball game during the season or something as big as the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Clashing with Cuomo’s plan

While the proposed bill does excite a lot of bettors in New York, it may be easier said than done, especially if Gov. Cuomo doesn’t change his tune again.

This week, Cuomo has already announced that his intent behind the decision to bring online sports betting to New York is not to generate money for the casinos but to generate money for the state as a whole.

Rather than bringing in up to 14 sportsbooks to the state as the proposed bill would do, Cuomo said that it would be more beneficial if there was only one operator in New York.

He would also only allow casinos that have already had sports betting partnerships to take part and bid on the license to operate online sports betting.

New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica explained that if there was only one sportsbook operator running online betting, the state could generate up to $500 million annually, which is a considerable amount more than what would happen if the previously mentioned bill is passed.

Others have argued against the idea, citing states with multi-operator models have been able to generate a significant amount of revenue as well.

For example, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), over $257 million was generated by online sports betting in New Jersey throughout 2020.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see if Cuomo gets his vision or if there will be some sort of compromise.

What happens next?

On Monday, Cuomo will announce his budget proposal and it’s expected that he will address online sports betting at some point.

Whether or not he addresses the proposed bill or what he’ll have to add about his own vision of online sports betting in New York remains to be seen.

The one certain thing is that unless Cuomo’s opinion on one single operator running online sports betting in New York has changed in less than a week, this could end up being a lengthy debate for the foreseeable future.

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Logan
Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.