New York governor Andrew Cuomo has laid out his plan for mobile sports betting in his State of the State address with a proposal that would could see multiple brands permitted to launch.
“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,” the measure accompanying the State of the State explained.
“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.”
Cuomo, a long-time opponent of legal online betting, changed his position on the matter early this year due to hopes the increased tax revenue from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic would fill budget shortfalls in the state.
However, he initially appeared set to support handing the state lottery a monopoly for online betting. The mention of “one or more providers” suggest this stance has now changed. This would theoretically open up the market to a host of operators and suppliers.
Currently, Rush Street Gaming’s Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady’s sportsbook is operated by Rush Street Interactive, while the DraftKings and FanDuel work with the del Lago and Tioga Downs respectively. Resorts World Catskills, meanwhile, offers a product powered by technology from International Game Technology (IGT) and BetGenius.
Tribal operator the Oneida Indian Nation has partnered Caesars for its three venues, IGT powers betting at the Akwesane Mohawk Casino, while Kambi will provide technology for Seneca Gaming Corporation’s properties.
In his address, Cuomo also revealed New York faces a $15bn budget gap, which must be resolved as federal law prohibits states from running deficits. While he said government support would be needed, online sports betting was among the measures put forward to help fill that gap.
Currently, sports betting in New York is only legal in the state’s four upstate land-based casinos, all located at least 150 miles from New York City.
“The sports gambling market is evolving rapidly,” Cuomo’s office explained. It noted that it is now live in 14 states, including neighbouring Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The Garden State in particular, it noted, was attracting many New Yorkers due to the widespread availability of mobile betting. Industry studies claim that nearly 20% of New Jersey sports betting revenue is coming from its neighbour.
Last month, sportsbook revenue in the state more than tripled year-on-year to $2.3m. However, this figure was still a long way behind neighbouring New Jersey’s $66.4m in revenue, which came on $996.3m worth of bets, of which $929.3m were placed online.