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New York Mobile Sports Betting Flatlines, Retail Sportsbooks Still On Track

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For the immediate future, New York residents will have to make do with retail sports betting only.

On Monday, lawmakers failed to include mobile sports betting in the state’s $175 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Despite the expansion of sports betting, Cuomo viewed the budget deal as “transformative.” He told the New York Times, “this is the best budget that has been produced — since I’ve been governor.”

Progressive ideas but no NY mobile wagering

The spending package certainly aligns with the progressive themes Cuomo has been pushing, including a new mansion tax, traffic congestion charges, and a plastic bag ban.

But it falls short on the promise made in January to include online sports betting revenue as part of the solution to close the $3.1 billion fiscal gap.

The failure may come as no surprise to those monitoring the problematic journey mobile wagering has been on since last year. However, residents will still have the opportunity to place wagers at retail sportsbooks inside the state’s four commercial casinos ahead of the 2019 football season.

Preliminary rules are currently going through a 60-day public comment period, which, if everything goes as planned, would allow state and tribal casinos to begin taking wagers in August.

NY lawmakers still fighting for online sports betting

Online sports betting was a long shot from the beginning. Political discourse fueled everything from sports betting to marijuana legalization, forcing lawmakers to omit both from the final package.

But, there is one small faction of rogue Democrats fighting to keep online sports betting alive. Sen. Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow refuse to fall in line with Cuomo’s belief that the only way mobile wagering is possible is through a referendum.

The legislative session ends June 19, and standalone bills such as S 1490 remain on file. Additionally, some of the brightest gaming attorneys in New York have released legal opinions that run counter to Cuomo’s referendum proposal.

Gaming companies like FanDuel and DraftKings will still operate retail sportsbooks, but their mobile-first operations will be left on the sidelines. All four casinos have deals in place and will be ready to begin taking wagers once final rules are in place:

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The news is New Jersey’s gain

For now, rival New Jersey can rest assure that tax dollars will continue to flow into the state through mobile and retail sports betting options.

The FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands is roughly nine miles from Manhattan and will continue to be a viable option for New York residents looking to place a bet.

Additionally, mobile wagering accounted for approximately 80 percent of the NJ sports betting handle in February. 

Nicholaus Garcia

About

Nick comes from West Texas where he graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in psychology. After a five-year stint in Chicago, where he wrote about local politics and graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, he moved to Washington, D.C. to write about issues related to gambling policy, sports betting and responsible gaming.

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