State lawmakers, Gov. Cuomo have different mobile sports betting proposals

New York State

FILE: $100 bills. (NEXSTAR)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — While Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a proposal to legalize mobile sports betting in New York State, a group of lawmakers have had their own legislation to do so that’s garnered bipartisan support.

“Here the question’s not really whether or not we do mobile sports betting. The question is more how, Who makes the profit? I’m with the people and I believe the people of the state should get the revenues,” the Governor said during his budget address. 

Under the Governor’s plan, the state would run mobile sports betting as it does with the state lottery, and revenues would be directed towards education funding.

Meanwhile legislation co-sponsored by Democrat and Republican lawmakers throughout the state would allow casinos to make the profit, and pay a portion of that back in taxes to the state. 

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara says he believes the legislature’s plan is the best way to support local economies. “The way the legislature’s proposal would go is that each of the casinos would be able to team up with two providers for online sports betting and they would collect the revenues and the state would receive payments based on how much revenue is generated,” he said. That bill has already passed through the Assembly Racing & Wagering Committee.

Under the Governor’s proposal the NYS Gaming Commission would request proposals from entities to provide the infrastructure for mobile sports betting and select one or more. Santabarbara says if the state goes with one, that could lead to a monopoly. 

Stephen Acquario with the New York State Association of Counties says while the Governor’s proposal needs to be unpacked, the organization prefers the legislature’s plan right now. “It’s a very big business type enterprise and hopefully at the end of the day the local governments and the off-track betting corporations could provide that existing infrastructure to supplement the casino infrastructure and the state system, it doesn’t make any sense to rebuild a whole new system. When we have something right in place right now,” he said.

Cuomo has said mobile sports betting could generate $500 million in revenues. He’s also proposed eliminating Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) aid outside of Yonkers.

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