The New York State Gaming Commission has missed the deadline to release a solicitation seeking bidders to operate online sports betting in the state.
The measure was included in the state’s 2021-22 fiscal year, which lawmakers passed in April. That spending plan called for the commission to release a request for proposals document by July 1.
SportsHandle, citing industry sources, reported Thursday evening that the delay could be up to two weeks.
Such a delay could prove problematic for efforts to have operators ready to take bets by next year’s Super Bowl. That has been the goal of state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, who chairs the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.
“The fact that our state couldn’t meet its initial mobile sports betting deadline to take a positive step towards recognizing additional educational and anti-addiction funding is disappointing,” Addabbo, Jr. told The Center Square in a statement. “I remain confident that in the end, New York will have a premier, top-shelf mobile sports betting product to offer its residents and effectively compete in the market.”
Both he and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon, who chairs the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, have long championed expanding sports betting in New York to include online sites and mobile apps.
Currently, sports betting is just available at the state’s commercially licensed casinos upstate. Three tribal nations that operate casinos upstate also have retail sportsbooks.
However, the lack of a full-fledged casino downstate as well as no legal mobile options, have led many bettors in New York City to go across the Hudson River to New Jersey, while online betting is allowed.
Negotiations on the mobile sports betting language were one of the final pieces of the budget bill to get resolved. Addabbo and Pretlow pushed for a system similar to other states that would have allowed each casino, including three planned casinos for the downstate market, to have two mobile partners each.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had been against expanding sports betting until the past year when the state sought new revenue streams, sought a more state-centric solution where a few operators would have partnered with the state and given New York a larger share of the proceeds.
In the end, the sides agreed on a plan that allows the state to award contracts to at least two platform providers. In their applications to the state, the platform providers would list which sports betting operators they would offer to New York bettors.
The budget, which itself was passed after the April 1 statutory deadline, called for the solicitation to be released on Thursday.
It also calls on bidders to submit their responses within 30 days, and the Gaming Commission would then have 150 days after the final submissions to award licenses.