Mobile sports betting is coming to the state of New York. There had been plenty of momentum towards this agreement in recent weeks. The deal was finally reached between Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers. They reached a compromise last week.
Initially, there was a deadline of April 1, 2021. It was set to legalize mobile sports betting, but then that date was pushed back. Mobile sports betting was ultimately included in a $212 budget proposal that would start to shrink the debt currently incurred by the state.
Even though mobile sports betting is coming to the state, the market will be extremely limited. New York has failed to reach its full sports betting potential in retail. With current limitations, online sports betting will likely do the same.
The deal that was agreed upon will allow for two operators to launch mobile sports betting in the state. A total of four online sports betting skins would be available. This is still well short of initial proposals from lawmakers.
Some bills introduced attempted to set up kiosks or sportsbooks at major sports arenas in the state. However, that wasn’t included in the final discussions. New York was also hoping to compete with New Jersey in online sports betting, but that state has a wide-open online market.
The Oneida Nation has been outspoken about this agreement. They claim that it breaks an agreement between itself and the state. This could create a potential court battle. Lawmakers could eventually include Native American tribes.
There is also a threat of some lawsuits being filed by Native American tribes or other groups that are unable to apply for a license. Cuomo’s group insists that everything will be worked out without a lawsuit taking place, but there are still plenty of things that need to be answered.
The New York Gaming Commission will oversee mobile betting in the state. It will be the group that receives and reviews licenses. This process is expected to take between 3-5 months before winners are chosen.
What Comes Next?
Mobile sports betting is now a reality in New York. The big question is when will this new form of betting be available. An official launch date has not been set, though a target date of February 2022 appears like a possibility.
Launching by February 2022 would allow bettors in the state to place mobile bets for the Super Bowl. But, several factors could delay the launch. The application process and the distribution of mobile sports betting licenses could take longer than expected.
New York has the potential to become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the United States. Mobile betting will help drive the growth. The limit on the potential number of operators is a big blow to the industry. This current law will need to be amended.