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New York set for mobile betting as Governor Cuomo signs FY 2022 budget


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the state’s fiscal 2022 budget, clearing the way for the launch of legal mobile sports wagering.

Earlier this month, Cuomo and the New York legislature finalized a FY 2022 budget bill that contained provisions for legal mobile sports betting, including a $25m license fee, and bidding process for potential licensees.

Cuomo has now signed off on the bill, which he said would help the state recover from the financial losses it has suffered during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“There’s no doubt that our state will bounce back stronger and better than before, and in the interim, it’s critical we support the New Yorkers who helped get us through this crisis and take steps to rebuild an economy that works for all,” Cuomo said.

Among the measures set out under the budget bill are that the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select at least two platform providers to operate sports betting, with these to receive licenses and offer at least four betting skins.

The Commission’s request for proposals will open no later than 1 July this year, with winning bids to be selected within 150 days of this date.

The bill also states that the Commission will develop a scoring system to determine the best bids, with extra points to be awarded to operators that have a revenue-sharing agreement in place with one of New York’s Native American tribes.

Tax rates will be determined based on the bidding process, with the bill stating these will be no lower than 12%, while licensees will be required to house their servers in a New York casino and pay an annual fee of $5m for the privilege. Based on the state’s targeted returns of $500m at maturity, this would suggest that the rate of return to the state could be as high as 50%.

Licenses to operate will run for 10 years and be issued to the two highest-scoring bids, as long as both pay the same tax rate, while the Commission may also license additional bids if they are satisfactory.

Each licensed platform provider may host multiple skins, but must limit each player to one account each, meaning a player may not have accounts with different skins under the same provider’s license.

In addition, players must receive messages regarding responsible gambling limits and an option to close their account if their lifetime deposits total more than $2,500.

Last week, New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo set out his aims for the state to launch a legal sports wagering market by early next year, in time for the 2022 edition of the National Football League’s Super Bowl.