How’d That Happen? Study Doesn’t Consider State-Run Model For Online Sports Betting

Written By Matthew Kredell on January 22, 2021

If you were wondering where Gov. Andrew Cuomo got the idea of pivoting to a state-run model for New York online sports betting, it didn’t come from the New York Gaming Study.

The New York State Gaming Commission finally released the long-awaited study by Spectrum Gaming Group late Friday.

The study only considers mobile sports wagering through the state’s four commercial casinos and three gaming tribes.

The 358-page comprehensive analysis of New York’s gaming landscape originally was due Dec. 31, 2019. The Gaming Commission pushed it back to June 2020, then delayed it indefinitely to consider implications of the coronavirus pandemic on the market.

New York looking to authorize online sports betting

Cuomo surprised legislators who had been working on an inclusive model for online sports wagering for the past two years when he proposed a state-run model similar to how New York runs the lottery.

In his executive budget, the governor proposed that the Gaming Commission choose one or more platform providers for online sports betting through a competitive bidding process.

The executive budget includes $49 million from online sports betting in the 2022 fiscal year and $357 million for the 2023 fiscal year. At market maturity, budget director Robert Mujica projects $500 million annually.

Mujica said the casino-run sports betting model proposed by lawmakers would provide New York only $50 million in revenue annually. The Spectrum study provides a more optimistic figure.

Revenue projects for New York mobile sports wagering

Spectrum estimates that combined retail and online sports wagering across New York would generate between $816 million and $1.14 billion in annual gross gaming revenue. Market maturity could be reached in three to five years.

With state-wide tribal sports betting, Spectrum projects between $72 million and $99 million in state revenue annually.

Spectrum adds “we believe New York will skew closer to the higher end of the range.” This means approximate $1.1 billion in GGR providing $100 million annually to the state. These totals do not include up-front license fees, which could total $168 million in the legislative proposal with 14 skins at $12 million apiece.

Here are the reasons Spectrum provides in support of the higher estimates:

  • The presence of a substantial number of professional sports teams from the core four US sports.
  • Significant tourist and out-of-state commuter population that is likely to place bets while in New York.
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Matthew Kredell

Matthew Kredell reports on efforts to legalize sports wagering and online casino gaming around the country. He covered the multi-year effort to legalize online sports betting in New York from the beginning. He talks to state lawmakers, lobbyists and industry representatives to get the scoop on new gambling developments in the Empire State and was at the forefront when the state budget included the authorization of legal online sports betting in 2021. Matthew has covered the legal gambling industry since 2007, getting into regulated sports betting three years later. An alum of USC, Matthew began his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News. He has also contributed to publications that include Playboy, Men’s Journal and ESPN.

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