The state of New York launched its sports betting industry in 2019, and there was hope that the industry would be expanded to mobile sports betting in 2020. Governor Andrew Cuomo has always been opposed to mobile sports betting, as he felt it went against the state Constitution. Still, lawmakers were trying to find a way to get mobile sports betting approved during their session, but the coronavirus pandemic is going to prevent that from happening.
Governor Cuomo recently delivered his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and state lawmakers passed the budget. Even though mobile betting was proposed in earlier meetings, there was no chance for it to be a part of the budget. The state’s session was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, and lawmakers will not meet again until the budget goes into effect.
One of the main reasons that lawmakers were hoping to legalize mobile betting is that the state is currently losing out on millions of dollars to the state of New Jersey. Mobile and online betting is legal in New Jersey, and New York residents drive across the border to place their sports bets often.
New York could use the extra money even more now with the coronavirus throwing the entire state into a financial crisis. There is currently a $6 billion budget deficit starting at New York for the 2020 fiscal year, and sports betting could have solved a huge chunk of that deficit.
Governor Cuomo might not have included mobile sports betting in his budget proposal, but he did include a form of expanded gambling. Currently, all sports betting must be done inside of the sports betting lounges at the casino, but Cuomo has waived that part of the law.
Casinos can now offer sports betting outside of their sports lounges, but all bets still must be made on casino property. Casinos can set up kiosks on their premises, which will save some people from having to venture into the casino to place bets. This isn’t a huge expansion of sports betting, but it is a start.
Love Thy Neighbor
The state of New Jersey estimates that 25% of its sports betting revenue currently comes from residents of New York that travel across state lines. Lawmakers in New York, along with financial experts, have estimated that New York is seeing just 5% of their sports betting revenue potential. These numbers still won’t get Cuomo on board as he continues to argue that the state constitution does not allow for mobile betting.
There are currently four privately owned casinos that are offering sports betting in the state, as well as tribal casinos in New York. All of the locations are located in upstate New York, which is another reason that lawmakers and residents have been a proponent of mobile betting.
All forms of sports can be bet on in New York, except games featuring collegiate teams from the state. The gambling age in New York is 21 years of age.