New York’s one-house budget plans for the fiscal year 2021-2022 were announced over the weekend, signalling the start of two weeks of talks between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature. The state’s fiscal year begins on April 1st.
The legislators’ budget plans all involve mobile sports betting, but based on the few specifics provided by Cuomo, they are drastically different from his strategy.
The state Senate and Assembly will vote on their versions of New York’s budget for 2021-2022 on Monday.
Bill A 3009
Late Saturday night, the New York State House of Assembly introduced Bill A 3009, which is identical to Assemblyman Gary Pretlow’s A 1257, which was approved by the Racing and Wagering Committee on Jan. 20 by an 11-0 margin.
Allowing the state’s four commercial casinos and three tribal gaming operators to get up to two mobile skins; a $12 million licencing fee for each approved operator; a 12 percent tax on mobile and an 8.5 percent tax on on-site retail wagering; and off-track betting facilities will partner with a casino.
The state Assembly has incorporated legal sports betting in its budget plan for the first time. The state Senate included it in its resolution two years earlier, but the Assembly did not. In 2020, no one-house budgets were planned.
Online Sports Betting included in New York Senate Bill
The state Senate introduced its budget plan — S 2509B — less than 24 hours later, with comparisons to the House bill released the day before. The Senate bill, on the other hand, designates Empire City Casino in Yonkers (Westchester County) and Resorts World Casino in Queens as destination resort casinos, potentially bringing sports betting downstate if allowed.
Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Jr. has been at the forefront of the campaign for electronic sports betting in the Senate. The lawmakers’ bills make it clear that they want a dynamic environment of many operators.
The incorporation of sports betting in the overall state budget is a positive development for an industry that is in urgent need of a boost in the state. New York allowed in-person sports betting at its four commercial casinos in July 2019, but the state still lags behind neighbouring New Jersey and Pennsylvania in terms of sports betting income due to the lack of an online option.
Declined revenue from NY sports betting
February was a different matter for sports betting revenue, according to estimates published by the New York State Gaming Commission on Friday. After three of the four professional sportsbooks in New York had their best month ever in January, February was a different storey for sports betting revenue.
In February, total gaming income in New York was $1.15 million, down from $3.57 million in January.
Cuomo, who has been accused of sexual harassment, has recently supported the proposal as a means to help close a state budget deficit. He prefers that electronic sports betting be run by the government, similar to the lottery.
The Government Law Center at Albany Law School hosted a virtual forum last week to explore “The Future of Sports Wagering in New York.” The majority of gaming experts agreed that the state should do more to promote mobile sports betting in the state.