New York governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that lawmakers have approved a 2022 fiscal year budget that includes online and mobile sports betting. What’s unclear, however, is the model that New York will implement.
Cuomo has said in the past that he wants the state’s sports betting industry to be run by the New York Lottery, which would grant licenses to only a few mobile sportsbook operators. His reasoning is that he’s not out to make money for casinos, but for the state of New York. A state-run sports betting industry is the best way to do that.
While Cuomo’s suggestion would indeed earn money for the state, critics have raised concerns about monopolies and constitutionality. Plus, its limited-operator model is very different than states that have successful, multi-operator models like New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
New Jersey sports betting operators typically fear that they will lose business if New York legalizes mobile sports betting, but some are saying that with Cuomo’s suggested model, they have nothing to fear.
New York’s History of Legalizing Sports Betting
New York was once of the earliest states to draft regulations for sports betting, even before it was legal. In 2013, lawmakers passed legislation that would allow the state’s 4 upstate commercial casinos to offer sports betting should it ever become legal. In 2018, with the Supreme Court’s repeal of PASPA, states received permission to offer sports betting and New York launched in-person betting about a year later.
However, as evidenced by New Jersey, a state with one of the most successful sports betting industries, mobile sports betting is crucial. Typically, more than 90% of wagers in New Jersey are placed online.
Now that New York has included mobile sports betting in its 2022 budget, its audience can be significantly expanded. The main thing that can hinder the industry is Cuomo’s limited-operator model.