Soon, it’s going to be possible to place a sports bet on a smartphone while enjoying a show on Broadway. New York is now officially an online sports gambling state after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on the state’s budget for the new fiscal year this past Monday. It was a signature that probably should have been received two years ago, but better late than never. With a budget bill signed into law, New York can now start reaping the rewards of what is expected to be a multimillion-dollar industry in the Empire State.
New York Joins Reality With Online Sports Gambling
Governor Cuomo had repeatedly asserted that online sports gambling could only be authorized through an amendment to the state’s constitution. COVID-19 helped him see the light, though, and he got behind the push led by several state lawmakers to introduce a new online gambling segment to New York. With his signature on a new $212-billion state budget, Cuomo has allowed New York to accept the reality that is online sports gambling.
The next step is for New York to put together its plan to introduce the new market. It is expected that the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) will take the lead, selecting at least two operators to debut online sports gambling in the state. These will be allowed to offer a minimum of four skins, but the process isn’t going to happen quickly. The NYGC is now ready to start receiving applications, but could potentially take until the end of the year before choosing the final candidates.
According to Senator Joseph Addabbo, who has been a main proponent of sports gambling in the state for years, it’s possible that the first online sportsbooks won’t be live until just before the Super Bowl next year. He explained to Elite Sport New York a week ago that the “benchmark start date” is February 13, 2022, the date of Super Bowl LVI, but adds that the NYGC could propel the introduction of the online gambling segment quicker. The commission has 150 days to select the two providers after receiving the applications.
Fine-tuning New York’s New Online Gambling Market
There are still several issues that will need to be addressed in order for New York to see a stable and drama-free online sports gambling market. One of the biggest question marks remains hovering over the state’s relationship with the Oneida Nation, which has threatened to cut off casino revenue sharing payments worth $70 million a year if New York violates its gaming compact. However, the native Indian tribe has repeatedly stated that it wants to work with the state to reach a mutually beneficial solution.
Because the new market is expected to be driven by competitive bidding, certain details aren’t yet defined. The issue of how much tax revenue New York will pick up will ultimately be decided by the competition but will be at least 13%, the minimum established by the state. Cuomo believes it could go as high as 55%; however, that might be a little too ambitious. The selected providers will have to pay a one-time fee of $25 million to get started, as well as $5 million annually to a casino. The sportsbook will need to place its servers in a casino, according to the online sports gambling legislation, and will have to pay “rent” to the property for the use of that space.
Sports gamblers in New York will have a wide range of options, as college and professional sports are included. This is similar to what has been introduced in several other states, although a couple have decided to prohibit wagers on all college sports. The only exception is New York, similarly to what has been seen in other states, is that no wagers will be allowed on games where a New York college or university is involved.