New York Mobile Sports Betting & Budget Negotiations Ongoing

New York Mobile Sports Betting & Budget Negotiations Ongoing
© USA Today

The much-anticipated New York mobile sports betting legislation is still much-anticipated.

After intense week-long negotiations bypassing its April 1 deadline, discussions about the legislation were ongoing Friday and could continue into the Easter weekend. It is not unusual for the lawmakers to go past the deadline when final state budgets are in the midst of being completed.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York legislature have been going back and forth on agreeable language and terms for mobile sports betting to be included into the final budget for fiscal year 2022.

Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D), chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, told on Monday — two days before the deadline — that there were “50-50” odds for coming up with an agreement. Those odds remained in place and have not changed, according to Addabbo, on Friday afternoon.

What seemed to be a virtual lock to be in the proposed budget, in some form or fashion, is facing the same obstacles as before.

“We have asked the governor’s office for some detail of his proposal and we would love to have some kind of hybrid between both houses and the governor once we see details of his proposal. That has not happened,” Addabbo told on Monday. “You can’t negotiate with yourself, right? We are being asked to agree to a proposal without seeing any of the details of his plan. Negotiations are still going on and anything can happen at any time, but right now, I see this as a 50-50 chance.”

Addabbo and state Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering, have worked, re-worked and presented viable options for mobile sports betting.

Their proposals have differed greatly from Cuomo’s. The governor wants online sports betting to be run by the state like the lottery — based on the few details the governor has released previously. He reportedly has remained steadfast throughout final talks this week.

Cuomo’s model would resemble New Hampshire’s sports betting model, which is overseen by the lottery and has one sportsbook operator for the state — DraftKings. It doesn’t have any competition and bettors have a single option for odds.

’We Have Been Transparent'

“We have done everything that we could possibly do to add mobile sports betting to this budget. We have been transparent. We delivered an 18-page document full of detail and we have bipartisan approval in both the Senate and the Assembly,” Addabbo said on Monday. “If it doesn’t go through, it certainly isn’t because of us. The people in this state want this to happen.

”Bigger picture, it provides so much more in revenue, job and business opportunities and it keeps the money in-state, instead of going to our neighbors across state lines.”

And what if it is not included in the budget?

The last date of the legislature is June 10, a date that has been mentioned as the next deadline.

“We have gone down that road in the past and it won’t happen as a separate bill, because the Assembly has shown in the past they won’t go for it,” Addabbo said. “The opportunity is now. Like I said we are still negotiating and I’ve always said this could go right down to the last second of the deadline.”

We are still waiting.

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