New York Still Not Adopting Mobile Sports Betting Bill

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New York at dawn.

New York lawmakers continue to see-saw between support for mobile sports betting and inaction. What has caused the latest debacle for the Empire State betting industry?

Mobile Sports Betting Not Happening in New York

New York has been long trying to give its support to various sports betting and poker initiatives. For nearly a decade now, lawmakers have been voting on various bills and drafts that would have allowed New York residents to benefit from the technological advancements other legal sports betting and poker states do.

The proposal was defeated during a budget vote in which the state laid out how $175.5 billion will be spent over the next financial year. The session omitted a mobile sports betting bill authored by Senator Joseph Addabbo, one of the most prominent supports of the betting industry in the Empire State.

Even though preliminary talks in January, 2019, gave indication that Mr. Addabbo can be successful, many remained sceptical. The Senator has authored other bills in the past, but he seemed to lack the enthusiasm to whip up the support that passing a legislation such as this would need.

Bill de Blasio, the mayor of NY City has been sceptical himself, saying as early as in March 2018, commenting that addiction was something he had a serious problem with:

Gambling always makes me queasy because I think for a lot of people it’s an addiction … It’s hard to get entirely excited about it.

However, it wasn’t Mr. De Blasio who hamstrung the bill and the progress of the industry yet another time. Rather, it was Governor Andrew Cuomo who expressed his opposition, joining a chorus of other lawmakers.

Mr. Addabbo Can Still Make S00017 Work

Despite the opposition, Mr. Addabbo seems to still have enough time to make his bill, S00017, make the strict cut in the state. He must submit the bill by June, which in turn would provide New York residents with an opportunity to enjoy mobile sports wagering.

Mr. Cuomo wasn’t so much hawkish against gambling as he was pragmatic about the state’s budget:

From the beginning, I said we will not do a budget that fails to address three major issues that have evaded this state for decades – the permanent property tax cap, criminal justice reform and a Metropolitan Transportation Authority overhaul, including Central Business District Tolling.

Mr. Cuomo did introduce changes to the existing regulations for the legal casinos in the state, simplifying the licensing process for casino staff that will save money to the Gaming Commission. There will be other changes that will spread to forms of gambling that go beyond the licensed casino properties as well.

In summation, the opposition that Mr. Cuomo has shown isn’t so much a belligerence towards the segment as much as pragmatism to push the state in the correct direction.

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