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New York State says that it will soon allow mobile sports betting, in a move hoping to shore up funding for schools and other services, the governor’s office announced on Tuesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the move as part of the fiscal year 2022 budget for the state, which was approved on Tuesday. However, it had not yet gone into effect, meaning, among other things, that sports betting is not yet legal. Once the budget goes into effect, Cuomo’s office estimates that the sports betting component might raise as much as $500 million annually in revenue.
As far as timing, Cuomo on Wednesday said New Yorkers can expect mobile betting “soon,” but has yet to provide a specific date. Gov. Cuomo’s office immediately responded to a request for comment.
Cuomo posted on Twitter that the state would directly operate the mobile betting, and that the program’s revenues would go to “youth sports, education, and to combat problem gambling.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, Cuomo gave an overview of the budget and the mobile sports-betting provisions. “The law allows the state to directly operate mobile sports betting, so the $500 million will go to the state rather than a lot of middlemen who operate mobile sports betting, which is what many other states have done,” he said. “This is more like the state lottery, where we operate it and we get the resources.”
And in a press release, the governor’s office explained “under the legislation, the state will issue a Request for Applications and must select at least two platform providers who must work with a total of at least four operators.”
New York Magazine explained that the state’s gaming commission will contract with a platform to host mobile sports betting, and cites four “frontrunners,” including DraftKings. DraftKings is a publicly traded company that allows users to bet on sports, and it’s no stranger to partnering with governments: the organization contracts with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other states.
In-person sports betting is legal in New York, though it is limited to four casinos, according to MarketWatch. Mobile sports betting, however, is currently banned in the state. Some would-be betters in the state have instead gone next door to New Jersey, where the practice of online sports betting has been legal since June of 2018, New York Magazine reports.
The overall New York State budget, after it takes effect, will also include broadband internet services available at a reduced rate to low-income people, and the legalization of recreational cannabis.
In a statement, DraftKings’ vice president of government affairs and associate general counsel Griffin Finan said: “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.”
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