Does Cuomo NY Mobile Sports Betting Plan Allow More Operators?

Does Cuomo NY Mobile Sports Betting Plan Allow More Operators?
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Could updated wording in a news release posted by the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signal that he is open to more than one sportsbook operator in the state?

In a news release posted on the governor’s website last week, Cuomo said the state would “select and license a sports operator or platform to offer mobile sports wagering in New York.”

The short release, which was posted on Jan. 6 before his State of the State addresses this week gave hope to New York bettors because he endorsed mobile sports betting.

After Thursday’s fourth installment of his 2021 State of the State Address entitled “Reimagine | Rebuild | Renew,” an updated list of 19 agenda-focused items was posted on the governor’s website. A release on his agenda, which was updated this week, included “Enabling Online Sports Betting.“

In a two-paragraph analysis on why the plan should be supported, the wording has changed. It now reads:

”Under Governor Cuomo's proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select one or more providers to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. This platform must have a partnership with at least one of the existing licensed commercial casinos. The Commission will also require any entity operating mobile wagering apps include safeguards against abuses and addiction.“

New York State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.-D (15th State District), chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming And Wagering Committee, told Thursday that “it’s a step in the right direction if he is willing to open up to more operators.” He added that “we have to have more details."

"This is a volume business and we have to provide more in order to compete with New Jersey and other states that have mobile betting. We want to offer a better product,” Addabbo said. “The more inclusion we have and the more opportunities and outlets we can provide to people means it will provide more job creation and more revenue for the state.

”We must utilize the whole state for opportunities. The more volume means more revenue. I hope we can all think about the big picture here."

Legislation filed last week in New York calls for multiple operators in the state and was in contrast to the plan that came out in Cuomo's original news release.

Connecticut Looks to Add Sports Betting

The new wording comes as Connecticut is considering new legislation to allow the state's two tribal casinos to offer sports betting.

It also comes as New Jersey continues to set state and national records for total sports handle.

On Wednesday, New Jersey released figures that showed the total sports handle in December finished just shy of $1 billion. New York sports bettors, without an online option in their own state, frequently head to New Jersey to place wagers.

More Details on Cuomo Plan Upcoming

Addabbo told earlier this week that more info should be coming before Jan. 19 — the deadline for submission of the state’s executive budget to the legislature. The budget document that starts the budget negotiation process should offer more details from Cuomo on his sports betting proposal.

One thing that's not clear is whether or not the state’s four upstate commercial casinos could have more than one skin.

Some of the biggest online sportsbooks are already partnered with casinos in the state, including DraftKings and del Lago Resort Casino in Waterloo and FanDuel and Tioga Downs Casino Resort in Nichols. BetRivers is the sportsbook for Rivers Casino in Schenectady and bet365 is affiliated with Resorts World Catskills in Monticello.

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