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New York Mobile Sports Betting Appears Unlikely In 2021

Governor Andrew Cuomo And State Lawmakers Have Made No Progress On The Issue As The Budget Deadline Nears


At the start of the new year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appeared to do an about-face on the addition of mobile sports betting in the Empire State when he announced plans to have tax revenue from it in his budget.

That budget is due today, however, and there doesn’t appear to be any movement on the issue, according to a report from The Action Network.

When Cuomo made the announcement a couple months ago, he was in favor of a state-run model that has the Lottery in charge. Lawmakers preferred an arrangement closer to what was recently agreed upon in Connecticut, where both the Lottery and brick-and-mortar casinos could run sports betting operations.

“That makes a lot of money for casinos, but it makes minimal money for the state,” said Cuomo in January. “And I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money. I’m here to raise funds for the state, so we have a different model for sports betting.”

Since then, there hasn’t been any major developments on the issue and voting on the budget started today. Before the voting started, Sen. Joseph Addabbo, one of the biggest proponents for gambling expansion in the legislature, isn’t nearly as optimistic that mobile and online gambling will pass this year.

“The bottom line is we need to negotiate with the governor,” said Addabbo on Monday. “We need to see what would be in the budget and the hours are diminishing because in order to have something to see on Wednesday, they have to go to print tomorrow. You can’t buy a new car without seeing the color or the make.”

A research note from Deutsche Bank puts more of a bearish tone on the situation as well, claiming that there were too many people with different views of how the market would be created.

“The early read, and our view, is that there are too many variant agendas and too little time to get this issue sorted out in this budget session,” wrote analyst Carlo Santarelli in the note.

Sports betting is currently allowed at the state’s four upstate casinos, but those are all at least a two-hour ride from New York City. Making a trip across the Hudson River to bet from an app in New Jersey is much more convenient for residents of the metropolitan area.