- New York Passed a Budget Deadline Without Agreement
- Expanded Gambling Continues to be Negotiated
- A Compromise May Exclude Residents from Online Sports Betting
With a Thursday deadline for agreeing to New York gambling expansion passed, lawmakers continue to negotiate. Despite Democrats controlling all three levers of the process, consensus remains elusive. Governor Andrew Cuomo started an earthquake in the gaming industry by supporting online sports betting earlier this year.
Like a great March Madness game, New York may need a buzzer-beater to expand gambling in 2021.
Cuomo Scandals Impact New York Gambling Expansion
When he announced his support for online wagering, Cuomo was one of the most powerful governors in the country. Since then, he has been rocked by scandals, corruption allegations, and investigations. Through his adamant refusals to resign, the governor has continued his support for routing online sports bets through the state lottery.
A longtime opponent of expanded gambling in NY, Gov. Cuomo’s support should have made this a smooth process. However, the lottery model he advocates is only employed in small states such as Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Compromise Over Sports Betting Model Emerges
The Governor’s preferred model differs from other large neighboring states, like Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There, online sports betting licenses are sold, and operators pay a tax on revenues. It is less controlled than Cuomo’s preferred model, but much more user friendly. Companies and apps compete for bettors through promotions and bonuses.
But the governor believes his model could bring in $500 million in yearly funds for the state. That figure seems outlandish. After an initial licensing boost, $50-$100 million in additional annual revenue is more likely.
In an attempt to get the sports betting ball across the finish-line, state Senator Joe Addabbo has offered a compromise. A vital figure in past attempts to expand gambling in the Empire State, Addabbo wants to create a trial run.
Temporarily following Governor Cuomo’s model would allow data collection during the all-important fall football season. Then, parties could re-engage on how to proceed permanently.
Tribal Compacts Imperil Gambling Expansion
However, Friday morning a new issue emerged that could blow up New York’s gambling expansion. The compromise model may exclude Native American tribes from offering sports betting. Some New York Tribes retain exclusive rights to host and operate gaming within their designated territory.
A compact between a tribe and New York grants exclusivity by county. The Oneida Indian Nation retains this gambling control over parts of upstate. This includes the cities of Syracuse and Utica. Unless another deal is negotiated, over a million New Yorkers could be locked out of online and mobile betting.
Geofencing technology makes this possible, but is it desirable? And would lawmakers really exclude up to a million constituents from this plan? One thing is certain, it will be a busy holiday weekend in Albany.
We will keep you updated on all the gambling expansion news in New York. But you can always win real money bets at our favorite online sportsbooks right now!