Gov. Cuomo raises possibility of NY mobile betting

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put online and mobile betting on the table during a briefing addressing the pandemic and the state’s $50bn budget debt.

“Are there other ways to get revenue?” Cuomo asked when discussing potential tax-raising measures.

“How about marijuana? How about sports-betting?”

Stakeholder obstacles 

In-person betting is currently allowed at the state’s casinos but getting online is a huge prize. It would be a major boost to the bookies in the state – and will spark a race to get further licenses.

However, in common with other major states like California, much negotiating would be required to agree a regulatory framework that kept all stakeholders satisfied.

New York’s revenue potential is clear. Casinos already have partnerships for retail betting so an online launch would be fairly simple.

Cuomo added that $15bn in savings could be made with a budget in the coming days.

But the effect would be “devastating” on the state’s public services and lead to significant tax increases. 

He said his preferred option would be to wait until March to see if the federal government provides stimulus funds to help New York recover from the pandemic.

The second option is by no means a certainty. But should it happen it would mean mobile-betting regulations not being put tabled before late 2021.

Case for regulation 

The business case for regulating mobile betting in New York is clear.

Neighboring New Jersey booked $6.2m in tax revenues as operators recorded more than $900m in handle in November.

In addition, an estimated 20% of that handle is believed to have been generated by New Yorkers crossing the Hudson to place bets.

New York’s State Gaming Commission published its figures for November.

Gross gaming revenue from sports-betting stayed level on a monthly basis at $2.6m. But they were double the $1.3m recorded in November 2019.

Rush Street’s Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady led the market with $1.1m in sports betting revenues.

The DraftKings sportsbook at the del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo was second with $949,710. 

FanDuel’s sportsbook at the Tioga Downs Casino Fingerlakes was third, booking revenues of $347,089.

The figures did not include contributions from the state’s tribal casinos.


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