The beginning of the week saw gambling operators that have been hoping to get New York lawmakers’ favor in terms of online sports betting suffer another blow. State legislators decided to turn down the legalization of online sports betting by not adding the option to the coming budget.
The administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo has already explained that legalizing online sports betting would be in breach of the state’s constitution. However, considering the fact that New York fiscal talks were in progress and representatives of the sports betting industry were pushing to legalize this type of gambling in the state, the issue has been considered.
In a radio interview held yesterday, Governor Cuomo reminded that New York lawmakers have already given the nod to legal sports betting at four upstate casinos – a measure that is expected to see authorization unveiled by Governor’s administration and give a start to a 60-day period of public comment. Cuomo himself shared that he was “not a fan” of the new mobile sports betting when asked about his opinion on betting via electronic and mobile devices.
According to data provided by Governor Cuomo, state tax revenues of only about $13 million have been received by the legalization of online sports betting by the state of New Jersey which gave the green light to this type of gambling in 2018. New York’s state budget will be about $170 billion, as explained by the Governor.
New York Legislators Have until March 31st to Add Online Sports Betting to Next Year’s Budget
About a couple of months ago, state regulators approved a set of narrow rules under which sports betting at casinos owned by Native American tribes and the four upstate casinos is to be allowed. The step was described by Governor Cuomo as an attempt to defend upstate casinos.
At the time when the state budget was revealed in January 2019, Robert Mujica, the state budget director, explained that a constitutional amendment is needed should the state of New York is willing to expand sports betting beyond land-based casinos. Despite that, representatives of the gambling industry are still calling for online sports betting legalization. They have been backed by some state legislators.
Last week, Senate Democrats approved the budget resolution under which the full-scale upstate casinos would be allowed to offer online sports betting services. For the time being, other gambling companies, including the New York Racing Association, statewide betting corporations and racinos would not be able to offer such sports betting options.
Casinos which are permitted to offer online sports betting would be obliged to pay a license fee of $15 million. They will also be subjected to an 8.5% tax rate on their revenue, with a small part of that revenue set to be redirected as a contribution to professional sports leagues as a so-called “royalty fee”.
The Assembly passed the one-house budget last week but, as mentioned above, sports betting was not addressed in the budget, and the Democrats are still not willing to give the nod to further gambling expansion. New York lawmakers will have until March 31st, when the current fiscal year is ending, to decide whether to pass a budget that might include sports betting clauses.