Consensus of New York Sports Betting Panel: Do Something

Consensus of New York Sports Betting Panel: Do Something
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New York needs to do something was the overall consensus during Wednesday’s The Future of Sports Wagering in New York virtual webinar presented by the Government Law Center at Albany Law School.

Bennett Liebman, former deputy gaming secretary for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a gaming lawyer, opened the 75-minute webinar with a historical timeline of online gambling in New York and where the state is today with explanations of current sports gaming proposals as the March 30 budget deadline looms.

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On March 15 one-house budgets will be released in the next step of the budget process.

Over the last 34 months, 25 states have legalized sports betting with more than 10 states continuing discussions and some possibly passing legislation in 2021.

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“In our bill, we have about a 20-month span where all entities can come in whether it be race tracks, arenas, stadiums,” said Shanna Cassidy, the New York Senate’s gaming committee director and an adviser to Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. His bill, S 1183 has been touted by major sports wagering organizations and even by the state’s tribal gaming nations, which can opt in should they choose to do so.

“There is a lot of the unknown in the details in Gov. Cuomo’s proposal.“

Cuomo has said that he wants the state to run mobile sports betting rather than the casinos, much like the state runs the lottery.

The tribal nations’ acceptance will be a major factor and issue moving forward to any legislation that occurs, according to the panelists.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow’s companion bill version of Addabbo’s — A 1257 — has seen equal support. Language from both bills will be incorporated into each of the one-house budgets on Monday as a negotiations starting point.

Lack of Online Market Leaves NY Far Behind

New York legal sports betting has been available in-person at its four upstate commercial casinos, but the lack of an online market has left the state far behind other states, especially neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania, in sports betting handle and revenue.

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Cuomo wants online sports betting run like the state lottery while lawmakers prefer multiple operators and an open market.

Back in late January, the New York State Gaming Commission released its long-awaited study on sports betting as the state weighs proposals from Cuomo and the state legislature to bring mobile sports betting to the state.

The 358-page detailed analysis — conducted by Horsham, Pennsylvania-based Spectrum Gaming Group — considered the prospect of mobile New York sports wagering through the four commercial casinos.

The new report estimates brick-and-mortar retail sportsbooks plus online sports wagering would generate between $816 million to $1.14 billion in annual gross gaming revenue. Statewide tribal sports betting projects between $72 million to $99 million in annual state revenue.

’A Layup for New York’

The four sportsbooks at the commercial casinos in New York combined for $3.6 million in revenue in January, setting a record for the state, but paltry in comparison to the numbers seen in neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New York doesn’t release total sports handle figures.

The bills working in the Senate and Assembly would give New York a competitive market with many more options for bettors when it comes to online sports betting.

“This would be a layup for New York to adapt,” Daniel Wallach, a prominent sports gaming lawyer, said of the Addabbo/Pretlow proposals.