New York Governor Rejects Mobile Sports Betting

Mar 27, 2020 15:03Joe Tarzaiski
NY Rejects Online Sports Betting Bill

Despite recent issues in regard to the Coronavirus, state legislators are still working in full force. As people are being enforced to stay in their houses during this pandemic, the legislators are focusing on COVID-19 and consequences it will bring.

Government Blocks New York Sports Betting. Why?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated he is against a proposal of adding mobile sports betting and building three casinos in New York.

“Sports betting, first of all, does not make you that much money. They raised something like $13 million - $30 million is a rounding error in our state [budget], I am not a fan… [of when] you can bet anytime from your cellphone."

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, stated: “Our position on constitutional concerns has not changed. But we remain in discussions with the Legislature.”

NY Senate Expresses Opinions Favoring Online Gaming

New York state senators, led by Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. initiated a proposal of solving the issue of a $6 billion dollar state deficit. Their plan included convincing Governor Cuomo to increase revenue through mobile sports betting. In addition, they included a proposition to build three casinos in the state. Addabbo stated:

“New Jersey is doing very well with sports betting and the mobile component. We need the revenue. There’s $9 billion in illegal sports betting a year in New York. It’s there for the taking.

“The last conversation I had with… the governor’s office was last week, and we were still not on the same page.”

Addabbo along with Gary Pretlow created a bill that would permit upstate casinos to offer statewide New York mobile sports wagering and partner with racetracks, off-track betting parlors, and professional sports facilities. Lawmakers presented their legal opinions to rhe governor’s office, yet never got a direct response.

“Tell us you’re not going to bring it to the floor because you’re philosophically against it. Don’t tell us you’re not going to put it on the floor because the governor won’t sign it. That’s not our role.”

FanDuel stated to the New York Post 25 percent of its mobile platform bets are placed by New Yorkers. This money simply being pushed away for what could be benefiting the state.

COVID-19 is depleting state funds and creating the necessity to create additional revenue streams. The state’s legislature typically develops budget proposals mid-March for negotiation with the governor. The lawmakers backing the online gaming would have added the details into the budget proposal with support of the full legislature. Without the support, the gambling proposal displayed no chance of success.

Mobile wagering would have been difficult either way, because Carl Heastie, Assembly Speaker, share similar opinions in regard to turning down legalization of mobile platforms in the state.

Addabbo and his associate, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, felt confident with their proposition, with answers to retort any questions of allowing mobile gambling. The possibility of sports and casino gaming with online platforms still looms in the air in New York, but as of now remains exactly that. A possibility.

“New York is unique,” Addabbo stated. “Many leagues have headquarters here, so New York has a different relationship to these leagues. We’re the only state doing it but it’s kind of a low percentage. The integrity fee hasn’t been a sticking point with industry operators, so I don’t see it as a big issue.”

Joe Tarzaiski
Lady Liberty
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Joe Tarzaiski began his sports writing career in 2004 in the Philadelphia market, analyzing and handicapping professional sports, college sports, poker and various table games. He currently reports on the increased efforts on the legalization and continual growth of sports betting throughout the United States. A Philadelphia University alum, Joe is dedicated to following current trends in both the gaming community and daily news throughout the sports world.
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