After months of facing accusations of sexual misconduct, and just as the state’s investigation of the claims was wrapping up, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced his resignation. This past Tuesday, the embattled governor gave his two weeks notice, paving the way for Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to take over. While her ascension makes her the first female governor in the state’s history, more emphasis is being placed on what’s going to happen to New York’s mobile sports betting plans. Fortunately, they appear to be safe.
Cuomo Out, Sports Betting In
On Monday, the bids to control New York’s mobile sports betting activity went public, only to be faced with a hurdle the following day when Cuomo suddenly announced his pending departure. He has been accused of sexually harassing 11 women since reports first broke several months ago, and calls for his exit – forced or otherwise – continued to grow louder throughout the scandal. There was concern that his resignation might cause issues with the mobile sports betting licensing process, but there apparently won’t be any delays.
Action Network got in touch with Senator Joseph Addabbo, the Empire State’s biggest sports betting supporter. With plans in place to introduce mobile sportsbooks after Super Bowl LVI next year, Addabbo doesn’t expect any issues and asserts, “In a way, it’s helpful in that there was a quick resolution here. There’s something that will change in days, not months, which would have been the case had there been impeachment proceedings.” The senator points out that, even though Cuomo is out the door, the two people that have been tapped to oversee the mobile process, deputy secretary Rob Williams and budget director Rob Mujica, are still in place and don’t need to disrupt the flow.
New York Slow, but Catching Up
New York already has a passable sports betting market, but it could be a lot better. It’s an accepted fact that, currently, many sports bettors are traveling across the border to New Jersey to place bets because of the lack of in-state infrastructure. This is, in no small part, the reason New Jersey’s sports betting market has skyrocketed since being introduced in 2019. Once mobile sportsbooks are available in New York, much of that revenue will stay home.
It would have been more beneficial for New York to speed up its timeframe for the mobile launch to ensure access to Super Bowl LVI, the biggest betting event in the US, next February, but too much debate had to take place first to set the rules. Cuomo had wanted things to work one way; some lawmakers wanted them to work another. It took a while for a compromise to be reached, but at least there is a definitive light at the end of the tunnel.
Addabbo wants to make sure the new operators are ready to hit the ground running, especially since the state will miss out on the Super Bowl. He asserts, “I need the online sports gambling product in New York to be top shelf from Day 1.” Among the applicants entering the race, there are two combined bids to enter the New York mobile sports betting market – one from FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Bally Bet and the other from Caesars Entertainment, Resorts World, PointsBet, BetRivers and WynnBET – and all of those now have enough experience under their belt to fulfill Addabbo’s mission.