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Key Negotiator Says Budget Will Have ‘Some Form’ Of Mobile NY Sports Betting

All three sides of the negotiating table are still working hard for their version of mobile NY sports betting, though time is running out with tonight’s budget deadline fast approaching.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow told LSR on Wednesday he thinks New York sports betting will expand to mobile. He’s just not sure anyone but Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be happy about it.

“I’m thinking we’re going to have some form of sports betting but I don’t think it’s going to be what anybody wants,” Pretlow said. “He’s modeling it after New Hampshire. New Hampshire is not a successful program but he thinks the state can make all of this tax money and that’s what he’s sticking to.”

Sports betting in New Hampshire has just one online sports betting operator, DraftKings Sportsbook. The company won exclusivity through a public bidding process. The language for New York would say up to two operators, Pretlow said.

While negotiations continue, Pretlow said accepting Cuomo’s model is the worst-case scenario at this point, which is an improvement from earlier this week.

Pretlow wants language to change NY mobile sports betting

Pretlow wants at the very least some kind of protection should Cuomo’s model fail to generate the kinds of return his office forecasted.

That’s why Pretlow wants a review after one year that says if the model is not working, it can change to what the legislature wanted. Both Pretlow and Sen. Joe Addabbo passed legislation – A 1257 and S 1183– through committees this year that would allow up to 14 mobile brands.

Addabbo also mentioned potentially tweaking sports betting in NY in the future when speaking to LSR earlier Wednesday.

“I always said in the past the first variation of mobile sports betting in New York isn’t going to be the last,” Addabbo said. “You monitor it, you tweak it, make changes to it. So the idea here is let’s get it started and we’ll work with it.”

Addabbo thinks sports betting has a 50-50 shot at being included in the budget.

Addabbo: Let’s compromise on New York mobile betting

None of the three sides came in seeing eye-to-eye on gaming issues.

While the Senate and Assembly agreed on sports betting, Addabbo also wants language in the budget to speed up a process for three downstate casino licenses. License fees alone would add $1.5 billion to the budget.

But now is the time for compromise, not for digging in your heels, Addabbo said.

“You can stand on ego and say my way or no way,” Addabbo said. “Nice. If you do that and nothing gets done you may feel happy with yourself but we’re losing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars – hundreds of millions of dollars. So all three sides have to give a little and take a little.”

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