New York legislators were busy yesterday putting together the final details of a new fiscal year’s budget. That budget includes provisions for revenue from mobile sports gambling, which has taken a long and circuitous route to come to the surface in the Empire State. Although the final framework for online sportsbooks still has to be developed, New Yorkers are now closer than ever to enjoying easier access to sports gambling.
New York State Wants Most of the Pie
According to Bloomberg Law, Governor Andrew Cuomo worked with the leaders of the Senate and Assembly to finalize the details of the fiscal year 2022 budget yesterday, finally coming to terms late in the day. It took a lot of effort on everyone’s part, and it was known that finding common ground would not be an easy task, especially as the state is in overdrive trying to find a way to recover from the COVID-19 fiasco. Cuomo said as it looked like a resolution had been found, “The budget is really a budget and Covid management and New York recovery program. It’s the most complicated budget that we’ve ever done.”
With the final budget approvals in place, a picture of how New York’s mobile sports gambling segment began to emerge, even if it is still somewhat fuzzy. There could be a minimum of two mobile sports gambling platform providers, who would be required to work with up to four online operators. These four would need to be ready to give up a large portion of their revenue, as New York intends to take between 50-50% of the revenue. In addition to the introduction of mobile sports gambling, the budget proposal also has a provision for three new downstate casino licenses, which could net the state as much as $500 million each.
A Long And Winding Road For Mobile Sports Gambling
The passage of the budget doesn’t mean that mobile sports gambling will find its way to sports gamblers’ smartphones tomorrow. The regulatory framework of the activity still has to be put together, and there’s no shortage of debate when it comes to how online sports gambling will be seen in the state. New York is facing a significant amount of resistance from in-state native tribes, concerned over the prospects of not being able to control online gambling within their regions as is laid out in their gaming compacts with the state. The Oneida Nation, in particular, has already threatened to withhold annual revenue-sharing payments if it isn’t given exclusive control of mobile sports gambling in its Central New York territory.
New York can’t afford any more delays with the introduction of mobile sportsbooks. As potentially the most populous state to launch the segment, it stands to pick up hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue at a time that it is suffering from a $10.2-billion deficit for the new fiscal year. As it stands, even with new revenue streams and temporary taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents, New York is projected to be facing a $2.5-billion shortfall, according to New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica.