New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced modest concessions to expand legal gambling in the state this week as part of his $178bn 2021 budget proposal, but decided not to green light new legislation that would allow the introduction of mobile betting.
Cuomo’s proposed measures would allow operators to install automated betting kiosks or open up extra betting windows outside of casino sport lounges within their venues. But crucially, those initiatives fall desperately short for the likes of Senator Joseph Addabbo whose sports betting bill, S17, could well be kicked into the long grass for at least another year.
The news will, however, have been welcomed by neighboring New Jersey. Sportsbooks there will continue to welcome the thousands of New York bettors who are hamstrung by legislation that restricts them to betting at either four Upstate commercial casinos or a handful of tribal locations.
While the Governor appears to be dead set against mobile betting – instead favoring the legalization of cannabis as a key revenue driver – Addabbo still has until April 1 to convince him to change his mind on mobile.
In response to the budget announcement this week, the senator released a statement which read: “The Executive Budget’s and state’s need for revenue emphasizes the importance of implementing mobile sports betting in New York and not to miss an opportunity to raise much needed revenue to assist in addressing the expanding $6bn budget deficit, to increase educational funding, to protect vital programs, to curtail the current illegal sports betting in our state, and to significantly enhance the prospect of creating jobs.”
He added: “I am hopeful that mobile sports betting is on a similar road as some other issues, such as paid family leave and medical marijuana, which were initially rejected by the governor. Fortunately, these initiatives are now in place to benefit the people of our state, as would mobile sports betting. I look forward to working with the governor’s administration, the State Legislative leadership, and my colleagues on this matter during budget negotiations.”