iDEA Growth in the News:

  • Gambling Compliance, 4.4.21 – New York Mobile Sports-Betting Deal Growing Nearer Amid Budget Talks (Full text below)
    • Easter weekend came and went without a final agreement in New York on the state’s budget, but multiple reports indicate that a deal is close on legislation that would raise about $5bn in new revenue from tax increases and online sports betting.

iDEA Growth Member News:

Federal News:

New York:

Wyoming:

  • Sports Handle, 4.5.21 – Wyoming First State To Legalize Sports Betting In 2021
    • Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Monday became the first governor to legalize sports betting in his state in 2021, when he signed HB 133, his office confirmed. The new law allows for statewide mobile wagering only and does not allow for retail sportsbooks.

Illinois:

Arizona:

Virginia:

  • iGB North America, 4.6.21 – Virginia sports betting handle reaches $265.8m in February
    • Consumers in Virginia wagered $265.8m (£191.5m/€224.9m) on sports during February, but adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for the US state remained at a loss for a second consecutive month following high promotional spend.

 

Gambling Compliance

New York Mobile Sports-Betting Deal Growing Nearer Amid Budget Talks

April 4, 2021

 Easter weekend came and went without a final agreement in New York on the state’s budget, but multiple reports indicate that a deal is close on legislation that would raise about $5bn in new revenue from tax increases and online sports betting.

Talks between the legislature and the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo continued into the holiday weekend, and while several more bills in the 10-bill package that comprises the state budget were printed on Saturday, those legislative proposals that would contain mobile sports betting, if it were to be included, remained under discussion.

Multiple local reports and VIXIO GamblingCompliance sources suggested that online sports betting is still an active part of the budget discussions.

The new fiscal year in New York began on April 1, but that deadline passed without a deal.

The ten bills that will comprise the state’s $200bn budget are put into separate categories such as healthcare initiatives or debt service.

If mobile sports betting were to be included in the budget, it would likely be addressed in either the “revenue” bill, or more likely, the final bill known among legislators and Albany insiders as “the big ugly,” a package that often contains the most contentious last-minute items regardless of category.

Several media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, reported late on Sunday that the parties are near an agreement on a $5bn revenue package that would include mobile sports betting in some form, although details were scarce on what the regulatory model would look like.

One issue that bubbled to the surface heading into the weekend was the role that New York’s Native American gaming tribes would have if mobile sports betting were to be enacted under a model pitched by Governor Cuomo.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has thrown his support behind establishing a state-controlled selection process for one or a small handful of online platforms, rather than the state legislature’s preferred plan to grant incumbent commercial and tribal casinos automatic rights to offer up to two skins for mobile sports wagering.

New York’s tribal-state gaming compacts and a 2013 casino expansion law grant the Oneida, Seneca and St. Regis Mohawk tribes exclusivity over casino gaming within certain regions of the state.

Under legislative provisions advanced by the state Senate and Assembly, tribes would agree to waive regional exclusivity when it comes to online sports betting in return for being granted access to the market on a state-wide basis – something that would not be guaranteed under the regulatory model preferred by the governor.

State Senator Joseph Griffo, the Republican Senate assistant minority leader whose district includes Oneida County, home of the Oneida Indian Nation, said that a plan that did not include tribal participation in mobile betting would result in sports wagering being prohibited in 10 upstate counties that comprise an Oneida exclusivity zone per an agreement between the tribe, the state, and the counties where the reservation sits.

“Cutting out major parts of Upstate New York from participating in mobile betting is terrible public policy and would be unfair to these residents,” Griffo said in a statement.

“If tribal nations are not incorporated into the state’s final bill, we would potentially be disenfranchising millions of New Yorkers from participating in mobile sports betting and from the economic benefits it generates,” Griffo said.

Senator Joseph Addabbo, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, told the Buffalo News on Friday that the tribal issue was being worked on as part of the talks.

Meanwhile, online gambling industry association iDEA Growth reaffirmed calls for the budget talks to result in a competitive sports betting model, citing the findings of a state-commissioned study by Spectrum Gaming Group released earlier this year.

“Spectrum Gaming concluded that a competitive environment that allowed consumers a choice would also build out the most robust industry – and tax base – for the state of New York,” said Jeff Ifrah, the group’s founder, in a statement.

“On behalf of iDEA Growth and its dozens of members in the gaming industry, we urge Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature to enact legislation to ensure the creation of a competitive, regulated, sports betting market that will work for consumers, the New York state economy and bolster ailing New York state tax revenues.”