The New York Senate is expected to vote today on a budget resolution that could allow up to 16 mobile sportsbooks to operate in the New York market by 2024, if agreed to by the New York Assembly and Gov. Kathy Hochul.
New York State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr., D-Queens, told Gaming Today this morning that the Senate provisions may or may not end up in the final budget, but are worth considering.
“To me, it’s a great conversation to have because everyone sees the potential that we’ve had with mobile sports betting,” Addabbo said today. Since launching on Jan. 8, the combined handle from New York’s nine current mobile sports apps has exceeded $2 billion.
“This goes back to our original vision of more competitive skins or operators to compete with other states. So I think it’s a great conversation to have,” he said.
Details On The Senate Budget Proposal
Mobile apps would be allowed to increase by five – up from nine now operating in New York – for a total of 14 authorized apps by Jan. 2023 under the full budget language proposed in 2022 S.8009. Two more operators would be authorized by Jan. 2024, raising the maximum to 16 operators.
No fewer than two new operators would be licensed by competitive bid by Jan. 2023 — with bonus points for diversity, according to the Senate bill. Applicants with a workforce or corporate structure inclusive of minorities, women, and service-disabled veterans would receive more weight in the scoring process.
License fees would stay at $25 million per platform provider, with each operator required to pay a fee of $10 million.
Just don’t expect an increase, or decrease in the current tax rate on operators. That would stay at 51 percent under the Senate proposal, which clearly states “such tax rate shall be set at the same amount that is applicable to previously licensed applicants.”
Separate bills filed by both Addabbo in the Senate and New York Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, D-Mt. Vernon, would have allowed a graduated tax rate based on the number of new operators. The graduated tax rates were left out of both the Senate and House budget plans.
Addabbo said it is difficult to put a number of what more operators will mean in terms of handle. “You just don’t know,” he told Gaming Today. “But we are New York. We have a great fan base. The potential for New York is very high.”
Next Steps In The New York State Budget Process
The Senate budget language is expected to be adopted by the full Senate this afternoon, said Addabbo.
A separate budget resolution is expected to go before the New York State Assembly as soon as today. Provisions to increase mobile sports betting apps in the proposed House budget are almost identical to provisions in the Senate plan.
Both the Senate and Assembly budget bills will be combed through by budget conferees – lawmakers from both chambers selected to finalize the next state budget – over the next several days. Conferees must reach agreement, or reconcile, the two budgets with Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget presented in January 2022.
“This is another starting point for all three entities – Senate, Assembly, Governor’s Office – to negotiate a final budget,” said Addabbo.
With the 2022 New York state fiscal year starting on April 1, the budget conferees must work fast to finish their task.