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New York approves limited mobile sports betting

New York state lawmakers approved a new budget that includes a plan for limited mobile sports betting by 2022. It’s a plan that could open up one of the largest sports betting markets in the country. It’s also a plan that leaves plenty of unanswered questions such as how do tribal gaming interests fit into the plan?

According to a report on, the NY mobile sporting betting plan revolves around what is known as a limited operator model. In actionable terms, that means that the state is planning on issuing licenses to two mobile operators who, in turn, will sub-contract out to four sportsbooks. How New York’s three tribal gaming interests fit into the plan is one of many unanswered questions that have yet to be sorted out.

New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who was once vehemently opposed to regulated sports betting because he thought it didn’t generate enough revenue for the state, approved the new plan saying, “We want to do sports betting the way the state runs the lottery where the state gets the revenues. Many states have done sports betting but they basically allow casinos to run their own gambling operations. That makes a lot of money for casinos but it makes minimal money for the state,” Cuomo said in January about his plan. And I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money. I’m here to raise funds for the state. So we have a different model for sports betting.”

Apparently, the crushing weight of the pandemic on the state’s budget has caused him to take a fresh look at the issue. It will be interesting to see if New Jersey’s regulated sports betting operators see a dip in their revenue when mobile sports betting is up-and-running in neighboring New York.