State budget legalizes sports betting

Charles Molineaux
Created: April 07, 2021 06:34 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York sports fans will soon have new ways to bet on their favorite teams now that the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have agreements to legalize mobile sports betting as part of the new state budget.

The state’s casinos like Batavia Downs and del Lago stand to be the big winners when the state legalizes mobile sports betting and Gov. Cuomo predicts the plan will bring in $500 million in tax revenue.

He says those funds will go to youth sports education in the state, but it’ll have to be conducted through the Gaming Commission with mobile betting operators having to get licenses to offer it.

“The law allows the state to directly operate mobile sports betting,” Cuomo explained. "So the $500 million will go to the state, rather than a lot of middlemen who operate mobile sports betting.”

Gaming industry reports give odds to betting outfits like DraftKings and Fanduel to emerge as the state’s mobile sports betting powerhouses. They’ll have until July to offer their plans.

In a statement Wednesday, DraftKings says: “We want to thank the legislature and Governor Cuomo for the progress made in bringing legal, regulated, mobile sports betting to New York. We look forward to learning more as the process continues to unfold.” 

The state is also trying to reassure tribal casino operators that this should not hurt their business but, instead, offer them the chance to host mobile sports betting too, by hosting the computers of those eventual sports betting licensees.

“They would have the opportunity to have their server placed at any of the casinos,” counsel for the governor Beth Garvey said. “Additionally, the wagers that are placed are going to be deemed ‘placed’ at the location where the server is.”

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