New York senate okay mobile betting; eyes on Assembly, Cuomo
New York’s mobile sports betting hopes took another step closer to realization after the state senate approved their wagering legislation.
On Monday, the New York state senate okayed SB17D, which would authorize digital betting operations in the state, as well as in-stadia wagering at major sports venues, plus betting kiosks at racetracks and off-track betting parlors.
Monday’s vote was by an emphatic margin of 57-5 but the bill is believed to face a far more uncertain future from this point forward. While Assembly figures insist they have more than enough votes to ensure the bill’s passage, it’s unclear whether Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will permit a wagering vote when there are more pressing issues to consider before the current legislative session concludes on Wednesday.
There’s also the small matter that Gov. Andrew Cuomo publicly expressed misgivings just last week about (a) the chances that a betting bill will be passed before the deadline, and (b) whether such a bill would conflict with the state constitution, which requires a voter referendum on expansion of gambling options.
Cuomo was far more supportive of the land-based gambling regulations approved last week by the New York State Gaming Commission. Cuomo wants to see betting offered at the state’s upstate commercial casinos, which have failed to live up to their original revenue projections.
SENECAS CONFIRM BETTING INTENTIONS
The gaming compacts held by the state’s tribal casino operators allow them to maintain product parity with their commercial rivals, and the Oneida Nation has been busy striking sports betting partnerships in anticipation of the land-based regulations’ approval. On Monday, the Seneca Nation of Indians, which had played coy regarding its betting intentions, confirmed that it would be adding betting to its product mix.
Spectrum Local News reported that the Senecas offered few specifics on when betting might commence at its three New York casinos, nor who might be supplying their betting technology and expertise. Tribal spokesperson Phil Pantano said only that the tribe would “move forward accordingly with our preparations to offer this new and exciting amenity to our casino guests.”
Pantano also indicated that the tribe would offer mobile sports betting if the state legislature okays it for its commercial rivals, saying digital wagering would “elevate the guest experience and excitement even further.”
On the off chance that the senate okays the mobile betting bill and Cuomo doesn’t wield his veto pen, mobile betting licensees would pay initial fees of $12m and 12.5% tax on their gross revenue (land-based sportsbooks will pay 8.5%).
Controversially, the New York bill would also require licensees to pay a ‘royalty fee’ of 0.2% of betting handle to the major sports leagues. Should the bill pass, it would represent the first US state-level betting bill to include what the leagues used to call an ‘integrity fee’ but which has since been recognized as the naked cash-grab that it is.
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