NY 2020 Budget Strays Further from Mobile Sports Betting

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo eyed this week as an important one, as 2020 budget conversation commenced. Despite the push towards legalized mobile sports wagering in New York State, the Governor decided to leave the existing ban on online wagering on sports events. The only change regarding in-person sports betting is related to casino venues across New York State. The gaping US$6-billion deficit in the state budget demands action to take place.

Sports wagering has always been a popular offering among New Yorkers, even back in the days when it was considered illegal according to the existing gaming regulations. Locals participated in wagering activities on a regular basis and the months ahead of its legalization highlighted that the state has a great potential for sports wagering.

Expansion on Casino Premises

Experts claimed that New York State has the potential to surpass Nevada when it comes to sports betting revenue, once it sees its introduction to both the online space and the local brick-and-mortar casino locations. However, the summer of 2019 came and brought a specific list of rules guiding the local market, essentially crippling it with in-person sports betting only.

The first months of sports betting saw the highest sports betting revenue. As time progressed, the revenue showed signs of decrease, slumping with 41 percent from month to month. Mobile sports wagering was eyed as a possible solution to the growing issue across commercial casino complexes in Upstate New York. However, the initial phase of the budget conversation does not include a mobile offering.

The only thing Gov. Cuomo let slide was an expansion of the sports wagering offering within the limits of a casino venue. For the time being, players are allowed to place their bets only in sports betting lounges located at both the tribal and commercial casinos within New York State. Gov. Cuomo wants to see an expansion allowing wagering on sports events wherever players feel like it on the premises of the casino floor.

US$30m/month from Mobile Wagering

The commercial casinos offering sports wagering are Rivers Resort & Casino in Schenectady; Tioga Downs in Nichols west of Binghamton; Resorts World Catskills near Monticello in Delaware County; as well as del Lago Casino & Resort near Waterloo. As for the tribal ones, those are Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino, as well as Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.

Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Jr., a Queens Democrat, made it clear that the financial struggles would continue without the mobile wagering offering. He pointed out that the opportunity should be seized and utilized to the best of the lawmakers’ abilities, instead of allowing players to flock to New Jersey and Pennsylvania for online betting. Some 80 percent of the gaming revenue generated by sports wagering could support the local education fund.

Chris Grove, managing director of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, made it clear that in-person sports wagering allows the state to realize only 5 percent of the full potential this offering has. Sen. Addabbo who supports the online gaming expansion also highlighted that it would result in less illegal wagering taking place within the borders of the state. Supporters of the offering have highlighted that online wagering could result in US$30 million in gaming revenue on a monthly basis.

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Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat – turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.