EDITORIAL: New York mobile sports wagering deal gambles on state monopoly and responsible betting

EDITORIAL: New York mobile sports wagering deal gambles on state monopoly and responsible betting

Article brief provided by The Buffalo News Editorial Board
  • The Buffalo News Editorial Board
April 16, 2021 1:15 AM
  • The Buffalo News Editorial Board

    Leaders in the State Legislature got their way in several areas of this year’s budget negotiations, but Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo prevailed when it came to mobile sports betting.

    Cuomo pushed through his plan to have sports wagering run as a state monopoly, somewhat like the New York Lottery. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and Sen. Joseph Addabbo, both downstate Democrats, had championed bills that advocated for a system like the one in New Jersey in which bettors can choose among multiple gambling operators who operate through nine casinos and three racetracks.

    New York’s system, to be run by the state Gaming Commission, will be limited to two primary gambling vendors who will work with four app operators, and all will be affiliated with four commercial casinos in the state.

    By shutting out some gambling stakeholders who lobbied for the Addabbo and Pretlow bills, New York’s narrow approach may invite lawsuits from parties that got left out, or from the Oneida Indian Nation, which has said the deal would violate its exclusivity rights in 10 counties in Central New York. If there were an over-under betting line on how many legal challenges the new system might attract, our advice would be to bet the “over.”