New York’s sports gambling efforts stumble as tribes speak up
By Bob Garcia
Tribal gaming compacts might make a quick resolution on mobile sports gambling difficult
It appears that any proposals to reach an agreement on mobile sports betting in New York State have received significant pushback after members of the state Legislature held several discussions last week. The main idea was to be able to start implementing this type of betting once Easter week was over, but that no longer appears to be the case and bettors will have to wait quietly. At issue is how to address sports gambling as they relate to existing tribal gaming compacts.
The weekend vacations meant that the legislative discussion on sports gambling has been extended to this week. In addition, New York’s leaders failed to pass a timely budget early last week for the second year in a row as a midnight deadline passed without a clear agreement in place.
This whole process dates back to January when Governor Cuomo said he planned to bring activity to the Empire State through this year’s budget negotiations. Since then, Cuomo said New York had the potential to become the nation’s largest market for online sports betting. However, it appears that the state’s tribal casinos have also played a major role in this recent setback and negotiations have been complicated. Oneida Nation Representatives were informed last week that tribal mobile sports betting language could be removed from a proposed bill.
In response to the idea that tribes could be eliminated, a statement was issued by Senator Joseph Griffo, who said that this exclusion could result in the annual loss of $70 million in settlement payments per year. If the Oneida Nation were to be excluded from mobile sports betting, New York could face serious problems after incurring a “breach of agreement,” at least as determined by Central New York lawmakers. It would also mean millions of in-state sports gamblers would be left without a mobile option.