NY Governor declares himself “not a fan” of online sports betting

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New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo has categorically stated during WAMC News that he is “not a fan” online sports betting. He also downplayed the economic gains that could come with mobile wagering in New York.

The state regulators have already approved legislation for allowing sports gambling at Native American-owned casinos and the four private gaming halls upstate, including Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady.

Cuomo described the plan as an attempt to “fortify” the upstate casinos.

The limited blueprint, which will soon be subject to a 60-day public comment period, is based on the restrictive gambling language in the state constitution.

“If we want to expand it beyond the land-based casinos … we need a constitutional amendment,” state Budget Director Robert Mujica told reporters when the state budget was revealed in January.

Despite this interpretation, industry stakeholders and some state legislators are still pushing for online sports wagering.

The budget resolution approved by Senate Democrats last week would allow the full-scale upstate casinos to offer sports gambling online. Other gambling operators — including off-track betting corporations, the New York Racing Association and the video lottery terminal parlors known as racinos — would still be excluded from participating.