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Will NYS See Legal Online Betting in 2021?

New York State is preparing for a brand new era of its gambling field, ready for an expansion that has been in the working for years. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently voiced his support for mobile sports betting with certain conditions that will shape the local market by a lottery-run model. This could be potentially harmful to the budding niche.

For many years, the push for online sports wagering legalization has been in progress, as various supporters worked and subsequently proposed their bills aiming to make it possible. These bills claimed that New Yorkers deserve the right to conveniently gamble online whenever they feel like it and wherever they might find themselves within the state. The change might come soon.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

In a surprising move in the very first days of this year, Gov. Cuomo announced he would like to see legal online sports betting become a reality in the local gambling field. He revealed part of his vision of the budding online sports wagering field part of the local gaming scene and managed to stir the pot with it.

The way Gov. Cuomo sees things, one sports betting operator should rule the entire field and bring to the table everything needed. They should have an existing association with one of the five commercial casino locations within New York State, grounding it to the local scene. Those are del Lago Resort and Casino, Resorts World Catskills, Rivers Casino & Resort, Tioga Downs & Casino, and Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino.

What was also revealed at this point of the conversation is that the New York State Gaming Commission is going to oversee the online sports wagering operation. The commission will issue a request for proposals seeking a sports betting leader that could introduce the legalized offering in a safe manner. By doing this, the process of pinpointing one single provider will be optimized.

Legal Hurdles

Gov. Cuomo said that the growing budget deficit was negatively impacted by the unprecedented situation across New York State and the globe. Brick-and-mortar casinos and gaming halls had to temporarily suspend their operation in March 2020, among many other businesses. The legalization of the online betting offering could result in gaming revenue reaching US$900,000,000 making its way to the coffers and supporting the communities.

However, the proposed single-provider model stirred the pot due to its exclusive nature. Right now only FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, and IGT have an existing contract with a commercial casino. Racinos on the premises of racetracks are currently out of the picture, which is essentially narrowing down the number of contestants. January 11 is projected to see more information coming from Cuomo’s State of the State.

Gov. Cuomo wants to see a lottery-run model of the local online sports betting market, which comes with its legal challenges. For starters, it would require a constitutional amendment that comes with a vote which could further delay its launch. In this scenario, legal online sports betting could launch in 2023 if it passes all challenges.