Addabbo Assured New York Cellular Sportsbook can launch this 12 months

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Posted: Feb 15, 2021 at 10:16 am.

Last update on: February 15, 2021, 10:32 am.

Steve Bittenbender

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New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Queens), the lawmaker leading the Empire State's efforts to introduce mobile sports betting, not only believes that state lawmakers are about to pass a bill to expand sports betting in the US will adopt state.


New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. attended a swearing-in ceremony for his seventh term last month. Addabbo is a leading lawmaker advocating legalizing mobile sports betting in the state. (Image: NYSenate.gov)

He also believes the first betting could take place later this year.

"I'm still optimistic that our state government can have it up and running by September 9, the first day of the NFL football season, with a small initiative, should it be on April 1st." Addabbo told Casino.org in an interview.

It's been almost three years since the US Supreme Court opened the door to sports betting nationwide. New York took advantage of and approved retail licenses for its four upstate casino resorts. In addition, Class III tribal casinos are permitted to offer sports betting on their properties.

However, analysts and observers point out that New York is missing out on a significant source of income by not allowing mobile applications.

For example: According to the New York State Gaming Commission, the state's four sports bets had sales of nearly $ 3.6 million in January. In the same month, Indiana – a state about a third of the population of New York City – made $ 29.3 million in taxable income from its wireless and retail operators.

The senator said New York is usually a leader in state politics.

"We are the car in the right lane with four wobbly wheels and hobble along." Said Addabbo. “And these other fast cars like (New) Jersey and Pennsylvania zoom past us. This is a strange place in New York. "

Sports betting part of the NY Budget Talks

A recent study by Spectrum Gaming estimated that mobile sports betting could generate gross revenues of more than $ 1 billion for New York operators. If the state sets the tax rate at 10 percent, it would mean more than $ 100 million in annual income.

The Addabbo Bill, Senate Bill S1183, and Rep. Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon)-sponsored legislation set a rate of 8.5 percent. However, like other parts of the bill, this rate is negotiable, the senator said.

The Senator also noted that the original sports betting bill he submitted a few years ago gave every casino a skin. Now the bill offers them two, which is a potential of 14 skins or carriers for the state once the three downstate casinos are taken.

I think that's all part of the budget negotiations, ”Addabbo told Casino.org. "How many skins, the license fee and the tax rate are part of the budget negotiations? This is all part of the discussions that we are going to have and this is where we need to reach agreement. "

Still, time is of the essence.

April 1, the start of New York's fiscal year, is just 45 days away from Monday. While that is six and a half weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Monday, "45 days are the blink of an eye in government."

The state system affected by Addabbo cannot meet demand

The good news is that Cuomo is on board with the expansion of sports betting in the state to include online applications. The bad news is that his vision for sports betting is vastly different from that of Addabbo and Pretlow. These legislators lead the gaming committees in the respective chambers.

Both bills allow New York to operate sports betting like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Each of the state casinos would currently have the option to work with two cellular operators.

However, Cuomo wants the state to have more control. He wants a system that is more like the lottery and allows the state to get more of the revenue. This approach is similar to what Rhode Island, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Oregon have implemented.

However, as Addabbo indicated, these states combined have a smaller population than New York.

"I worry that New York has a product that can handle the volume and growth and expand the market." Addabbo said Casino.org.

He also noted that Oregon leaders are already considering their lottery-managed sports betting product.

Just last month, Governor Kate Brown called on state lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow the Oregon Racing Commission to regulate sports betting and issue licenses.

"If it's not good enough for Oregon, it shouldn't be good enough for New York." Said Addabbo.