New York FY 2022 Budget Provides for Mobile Sports Betting

New York is firmly on track to introduce mobile sports betting following the budget announcement made by the Office of Gov. Cuomo this week which provided some details regarding the economic model and the process.

“Mobile sports betting will pass. It will generate $500m annually for youth sports education.”

Gov. Cuomo

Lottery-Type State-Run Model

According to the official statement released by the Office of Gov. Cuomo, “The FY 2022 Enacted Budget authorizes mobile sports wagering”, but, unlike bills A1257 and S1183 proposed by Assemblyman Pretlow and Sen. Addabbo, respectively, the General Assembly agreed on a centralized state-run, rather than a free-market model.

“Once fully phased in, legalization will provide more than $500m in much needed revenue for the State to help rebuild from COVID-19 and grow what could be the largest sports wagering market in the US into a profitable industry long-term.”

Statement, Office of Gov. Cuomo

Following some last-minute negotiations between Cuomo and the leaders in the Assembly and Senate, the budget revealed the New York State Gaming Commission will commence the bidding process by issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to select at least two mobile wagering platform operators.

Approved platform providers will have the right to operate up to 2 skins each, and once the market is fully functional, it is expected to provide $5 million annually to youth sports, $6 million to address problem gambling, and the remainder of the projected revenue will fund education.

Some Financial Details

The RFP process is set to begin no later than July 1, 2021, and is giving the regulator a maximum of 150 days to rank the offers based on a scoring system. The scoring system is yet to be developed and not much detail was provided about it, besides the extra points awarded for operators with revenue-sharing agreements with one of New York’s Native American tribes.

“The law allows the state to directly operate mobile sports betting. So the $500m will go to the state, rather than a lot of middle men who operate mobile sports betting, which is what many other states have done.”

Gov. Cuomo

Approved mobile betting platforms will have to pay $25 million license fee for an operating permit that will last no longer than 10 years, besides the percentage of revenue proposed in the bidding process. In addition, $5 million should be paid to one of the upstate casinos to house mobile operation servers as per law requirements.

Individual players will not be allowed to open an account with more than one skin under the same platform provider, while operators would have to make sure their clients receive messages related to gambling limits, as well as the option to close the account upon exceeding a lifetime deposit total of $2,500.

Regarding the 3 new downstate casinos, Cuomo noted that any decision by the Gambling Commission would be made based solely on merits and should not be politicized.

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