It isn’t an April Fool’s joke, at least not an intentional one. New York is getting online sports betting apps. How that will look, how many apps, when it will happen, and if it can work are all questions without answers right now though.
If you don’t understand what is going on with New York sportsbooks, you aren’t alone. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has been cagey on details since he first announced his alternative sports betting model in January. Since then, Cuomo and lawmakers have negotiated a solution that looks more like Cuomo’s plan than the one featuring casino operators pushed by lawmakers. We should have more details soon, so bookmark this page to check out the latest info and developments on NY online betting apps coming to the Empire State:
New York online sports betting updates
April 13, 2021
Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. told Elite Sports NY that the “benchmark date” for online sports betting in New York to launch is Super Bowl LVI, scheduled for Feb. 13, 2022.
The New York State Gaming Commission expects to issue a request for proposals by July 1. Applicants will have 30 days to respond, and then the commission will have up to 150 days to select two platform providers. Theoretically, that pits the actual selection around the end of 2021.
The quicker the commission can get the RFP out there, the quicker applications can come in, and the quicker partners can be selected. No doubt New York would like online sports betting to be up and running during, if not in time for, the football season.
But as Addabbo said, New York needs to get mobile betting off the ground by February: “You don’t want to miss out on another Super Bowl.”
April 7, 2021
The Cuomo budget features a lot of numbers and projections related to sports betting. One big number is a projected $500 million in revenue for the state. Eric Ramsey explains why this model will bring in more money for the state than an open market, but half a billion dollars is just not attainable.
Jeff Gural, owner of Tioga Downs, didn’t mince words when critiquing the plan to the Wall Street Journal (paywall).
“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen,” casino owner Jeff Gural said of New York's mobile sports betting plan. “I consider this a gift to New Jersey and to me at the Meadowlands, and my only regret is that Andrew won’t be around to see this totally fail.”https://t.co/HEu0K2X2bM
— Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) April 7, 2021
If you have been following Dave Portnoy or the metoeric rise of $PENN stock, this New York news probably has you thinking positively. While there is room for Barstool Sportsbook and Penn National Gaming to get into the state, there are also plenty of scenarios they don’t. Our own Dustin Gouker broke down the pros and cons of Barstool New York.
In his address to the state, Cuomo touted his mobile sports betting plan, noting:
“The law allows the state to directly operate mobile sports betting. So the $500 million will go to the state rather than a lot of middlemen who operate mobile sports betting, which is what many other states have done.”
Cuomo also reaffirmed his opposition of downstate casino expansion. His rationale is he wants the NY Gaming Commission to handle licensing to avoid the process getting too political.
Here is his video briefing:
Once the budget was finalized, the Oneida Nation once again released a statement about its frustration with the plan:
Oneida Indian Nation statement on mobile sports betting deal tonight in NYS. The central NY tribe this week said looming sports deal would result in breach of 2013 deal with NYS for exclusive gambling in its region & halt of its $70M in payments to NYS/localities. pic.twitter.com/OgIscx4zy7
— Tom Precious (@TomPreciousALB) April 7, 2021
April 6, 2021
The language for the legalization of online sports betting dropped this evening as part of budget legislation.
New key points:
- Fees to be one of two platform providers cost $25 million for a 10-year period.
- Casinos will be paid $5 million annually if they host servers for a sports betting licensee.
- The state will issue a request for proposals by July 1, and applicants will have 30 days to respond. The state will have 150 days to choose the sports betting platforms.
The NY legislature and Cuomo still don’t have a finalized budget. However, Pretlow and others told the media there is a plan that will be in the final bill for sports betting. The details remained hazy, perhaps even more confusing than ever.
- There will be two sportsbook platforms and those platforms must have a minimum of four skins.
- The state expects to keep at least 50% of revenues and will push for 55%.
- Royalty fee to the leagues removed.
- Money dedicated to education with $5 million to youth sports and $6 million to responsible gambling measures.
April 5, 2021
Cuomo announced there is a plan in place for sports betting with New York Lottery as the regulator-operator. He explicitly stated his inteniton to leave out casinos:
We will contract directly with the mobile sports vendor, FanDuel, DraftKings … we’ll contract with them and we’ll make the money. We don’t need the casinos as a middleman. That’s the first point of contention: should you let the casinos make the money or should the state make the money directly? My position is the state should make the money directly and then let the state decide what to do with it.”
That point could very soon be the focus of a court case. The state constitution states the casinos have to be involved with gambling expansion. For example, with online sports betting, the servers for a betting app would need to be on casino property.
Cuomo also suggested tribal casino participation could be limited to just bets made on tribal grounds. That immediately drew a response from the Oneida Nation:
Response this evening from Oneida Indian Nation after Cuomo's comments re: mobile sports betting. pic.twitter.com/biITXm1JqH
— Tom Precious (@TomPreciousALB) April 5, 2021
March 31, 2021
Negotiations came down to the wire to make the April 1 budget. For the first time in a few years, the budget was not settled on time. Part of the delay stemmed from hashing out details on sports betting, which kept veering farther away from casinos and closer to Cuomo’s lottery-based plan.
Early details included a lottery-run model with one or two operators. Cuomo kept pointing to New Hampshire’s single-operator model as an effective comparison. It is worth noting the population of New Hampshire is 1.36 million people. The state sportsbook collected around $5 million in revenue in its first year of operation.
March 16, 2021
PlayNY publishes a white paper on the economic possibilities of online sports betting in New York. In tandem with the release, we also hosted a webinar talking about the NY sports betting industry.
March 29, 2021
After more than a month of public silence and behind-the-scenes negotiations, whispers came out of Albany about a compromise. According to Addabbo, they presented Cuomo with a hybrid option, but he insisted on a model that cut casinos out of the equation, even if there were constitutional questions about if that is even possible.
Jan. 22, 2021
The New York Gaming Commission (NYGS) released a study on gambling expansion the department requested from consulting firm Spectrum Gaming. Many in gaming thought Cuomo’s plan perhaps stemmed from results in this study. Turns out not. The study advised a casino model and also projected the revenue for possible upstate casinos.
Jan. 20, 2021
Cuomo released his executive budget. It included no sports betting details.
Jan. 19, 2021
Cuomo delivered his public budget address. He again references his sports betting plan, but still will not release details. The hope is details will come with the official executive budget.
Jan. 8, 2021
A day after Cuomo went on the offensive, sports betting sponsor Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. quickly reacted to the announcement. He told PlayNY that, without online sports betting, the struggling downstate commercial casinos could risk financial ruin. The four downstate casinos struggled almost immediately after launching. They had even asked the state for a bailout in 2018.
Jan. 6, 2021
The new year got off on a positive note when Gov. Cuomo said he supported online sports betting expansion. Lawmakers have been pushing the law for years, but previously lacked Cuomo’s support. However, as part of his revelation that it would be in his budget, he announced an entirely new plan for state sports betting. Instead of a plan similar to most other states where casinos serve as the licensees and the state gaming commission oversees regulation, Cuomo proposed one run by the lottery with a monopoly model.