New York Mobile Sports Betting...Coming Soon?

Published June 3, 2019 by Elana K

New York Mobile Sports Betting...Coming Soon?

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that mobile sports betting may be approved within the month. And that's good - since the legislative session ends at the end of June.

While it was previously thought that it would take over a year to get mobile sports betting up and running in New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo has now said that it could be legalized by next month. 

Last week on WAMC radio Cuomo said, “It's possible.  think the time is short and the list is long, so I would counsel the legislative leaders to get the priorities done, because these priorities are not easy.”

The Constitutional Debate

In January of this year, the state Gaming Commission approved preliminary regulations for sports betting at New York's 4 upstate casinos. But the regulations have not actually been implemented, nor do they allow for mobile sports betting. Cuomo has been arguing that allowing mobile sports betting would require an amendment to the constitution, but state Senator Joseph Addabbo maintains that mobile sports betting would not require a change in the constitution as long as the computer servers are physically located in the casinos.

But even according to Addabbo, people would need to first register physically at one of the casinos before being allowed to place sports bets online. Which is becoming fairly common among the states that have recently legalized mobile sports betting.

New York Lawmakers Need to Work Quickly

The legislative session ends at the end of June, so lawmakers need to work quickly if they want to get the mobile sports betting bill passed. As of now, New Yorkers have been going to New Jersey to bet on sports, where land-based and mobile sports betting are both legal.

Gary Pretlow, the bill’s sponsor, said, “New York is losing tens of millions of dollars right now [to New Jersey] — and the money [from online betting] is going to education — [so] everyone should be excited about doing this.”

The Oneida Indian Nation is certainly excited - it just received approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission (NICG) to allow sports betting at the 3 tribal casinos it operates. They, along with New York’s 4 upstate casinos, are just waiting for the state to issue final regulations.

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