New York Mobile Sports Betting Operator Expansion Hangs In Balance As Budget Talks Continue

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New York has less than 24 hours to pass a state budget before the start of the new state fiscal year. But will a proposal to expand the number of authorized New York mobile sports betting operators make the final cut? 

Maybe.  

“I understand all parties are progressing and working on the issue,” Sen. Joe Addabbo said Wednesday in a text to Gaming Today. He stopped there, which seems to indicate that mobile sports betting negotiations are far from over. 

The Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering chair is one of several state budget negotiators working day and night to get a fiscal year 2022-2023 state budget to Gov. Kathy Hochul by the end of this week. But time is running out for lawmakers to reach a compromise. 

By law, New York must approve a new fiscal year spending plan by April 1. 

Sen. Addabbo and Assemblyman Pretlow Lead The Charge

Earlier this month, both the New York Senate and New York State Assembly adopted separate budget plans that propose expanding the number of authorized New York mobile sportsbook operators from the current nine to as many as 14 by Jan. 2023 and a maximum of 16 mobile operators by Jan. 2024. 

The separate plans are now being used to put together a final budget  with input from Hochul.

Addabbo and New York Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, D-Mt. Vernon, who chairs the gaming issues committee in the state Assembly, are behind the legislative push for more mobile operators. It’s uncertain how much process has been made so far. 

Budget negotiations are lagging, according to Dan Clark, political journalist and host of PBS’ New York NOW.  Clark said state lawmakers are likely to miss the constitutionally-mandated April 1 budget deadline. 

”There’s no deal expected today or tomorrow,” Clark reported this morning on New York NOW’s live blog for the New York State Budget. Instead, lawmakers are expected to go home to their districts and return to Albany sometime this weekend, or even Monday, to wrap things up. 

“That’s when they’d conference a final budget deal, and move along to voting,” Clark said, citing “multiple sources within the Legislature.” 

More Mobile Sports Betting Operators, More Revenue

More mobile sports betting operators would mean more betting opportunities in New York’s multi-billion-dollar market. It could also mean more money for the state. 

First, the newly-authorized operators would likely have their adjusted gross gaming revenue taxed at the current rate of 51 percent – the highest tax rate on mobile sports betting operators in the nation. 

Addabbo told Gaming Today on March 14 that more operators means more mobile apps, which translates into more tax revenue for the state of New York. The state has pulled down more than $70 million in tax revenue from mobile sports betting since apps launched Jan. 8. 

Add to the budget debate an ongoing push by Addabbo and Pretlow to bump up licensing for three commercial casinos in the New York City area, and the stakes are even higher. A licensing plan is expected to be included in the final budget, according to a March 29 story by Spectrum News 1.  

New York currently has four commercial casinos upstate. Mobile sports betting in New York is tied to servers at those four casinos. 

This story will be updated once more information is available on ongoing New York state budget negotiations. 

About the Author

Rebecca Hanchett

Writer and Contributor
Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.

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