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New York set to legalize mobile betting following budget agreement


Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has agreed the FY 2022 New York State Budget, which includes the introduction of mobile wagering in the state.

The governor, together with state senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and assembly speaker Carl Heastie announced their agreement on the budget yesterday (April 6).

Under the budget legislation, the state will issue a request for applications and must select at least two platform providers, who will work with a total of at least four operators or skins.

Cuomo’s office says that once it is fully phased in, legalization of the vertical will provide more than $500m in revenue for the state, with the possibility of becoming the largest sports wagering market in the US.

With the current largest market, neighbouring New Jersey, bringing in $46.2m in February 2021 and a record $82.6m the month before, this suggests the state of New York will receive at least half of mobile betting revenue if it expects to take in more than $500m.

The governor’s office said that once fully phased in, the program will provide $5m annually to youth sports and $6m to combat problem gambling, double the resources currently available.

The remainder of the new revenue will be dedicated to education, it said.

“New York was ambushed early and hit hardest by Covid, devastating our economy and requiring urgent and unprecedented emergency spending to manage the pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said.

He went on to describe the budget plan as “making historic investments to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York in the aftermath of the worst health and economic crisis in a century.”

In January, responding to new proposals to regulate mobile wagering in the state put forward by Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Gary Pretlow, which both offered licensing regimes rather than a system run by the state, Cuomo explained: “Many states have done sports betting but they basically allow casinos to run their own gambling operations.”

“That makes a lot of money for casinos, but it makes minimal money for the state. I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money, I’m here to raise funds for the state.”