Will the resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo affect the rollout of online New York sports betting? The longtime governor stepped down under pressure this week. His reluctant openness to regulating mobile sports betting in the Empire State was crucial to its upcoming launch.

Governor Cuomo was facing numerous allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment. However, none of the accusations regarded gambling legislation or gaming interests. Instead, the absence of his titanic presence could create speedbumps as the state hands out online sportsbook operating licenses.

Gambling Backers Believe New York Sports Betting Remains On Track

New York State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Queens), a consistent advocate for expanded gambling options, does not see any problems related to Cuomo’s resignation. He believes that the Gaming Commission has a professional staff that can navigate independently through the transition to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

Downtown New York
New Yorkers soon won’t have to cross into New Jersey to make legal sports bets.

It was Governor Cuomo himself who used political capital to stop previous legalized online sports betting legislation. Additionally, his pandemic-related fondness for expanded gambling could be viewed as lukewarm at best.

The soon-to-be former Governor of New York prominently lobbied for a closely controlled operator model. Under his plan, which was only slightly modified prior to passage, few operators would be allowed into the market.

Could Cuomo’s Resignation Lead to More Wagering Options?

As currently planned, there may be as few as four options for online bettors from New York. Contrast this with New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which have 16 and 13 online sportsbook operators, respectively. New Yorkers will have fewer choices, likely driving down competition for their betting dollars. This may result in lower sign-up and retention bonuses and less friendly promotions.

Sen. Addabbo’s original legislative proposal called for up to 14 entrants to the New York online wagering marketplace. Without Cuomo standing in the way, legislators may contemplate changes to New York sports betting as soon as next year.

First, they will see how successful the launch of online and mobile wagering becomes.

New York Sports Betting Launch Likely in 2022

Legalized sports betting backers understand how essential football season is to driving large revenue numbers. Unfortunately, it appears New York will not launch mobile betting before the end of the 2021 NFL regular season. However, the Super Bowl on February 13, 2022, may still be targeted for a launch date.

daniel jones giants
Giants fans may need them to get to the playoffs to place legal wagers in New York on them this year.

The New York State Gaming Commission must first wrap up its application process for operators’ licenses. The Request for Application (RFA) period recently closed. Now, the Gaming Commission has until a December 6 deadline, per the RFA, to choose the winners.

Obviously, if the Gaming Commission waits until the deadline, the winning operators will have little time to launch before the end of the NFL season (Jan 9) or even the Super Bowl (Feb 13). However, the lack of legitimate contenders may help the Gaming Commission wrap-up its RFA work sooner than later.

Despite having no allegations of misconduct related to online sports betting legalization, Cuomo’s influence still would have informed the RFA decisions. Now, without his voice – whether explicit or implicit – impacting who receives a license, the Gaming Commission may actually have more freedom. The sooner they decide on who receives the partner licenses, the closer New Yorkers are to placing regulated bets with their phones.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience under his belt. He's played at –and reviewed– countless of online casinos, and has written dozens of casino game guides. His strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004. A native of North Texas, Cliff is a long-suffering Dallas Cowboys fan. He enjoys sports and games of all sorts, including sports betting.

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