New York looks at mobile sports betting to pay off debt

HOGANSBURG, N.Y. (WCAX) – New York is facing a $15 billion deficit, so Governor Cuomo is looking to bring in more cash. One of his ideas is legalizing mobile sports betting. Our Kelly O’Brien spoke to the local casino to get a better idea of what mobile sports betting could look like.

The idea is to be able to bet on your favorite sports team or players in real time from the comfort of your home. There are still a lot of details left up in the air, but 20 states currently allow betting on sports. The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in Hogansburg hopes New York is the next to jump on the bandwagon.

Right now, if you wanted to bet on any sports event out there, you can do so in person at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.

In November 2018, the casino opened up the Sticks Sportsbook and Grille, a one-stop-shop for sports betting, and has put kiosks around the casino for convenience. Since it opened up, people have rushed in.

“They are constantly rolling people in and rolling them out,” said Craig Fuller, the director of communications at the casino.

The sports betting demographic is men 18 to their mid-30s, and the way it works is pretty simple. Let’s pretend you were making a bet on this past weekend’s Super Bowl. You have all the options right at your fingertips.

You can bet up to $1,000 per bet and make multiple bets on plays, players, teams, quarters or the whole game.

“Changes daily too, there are different odds that come out every single day,” said Fuller.

The casino says if mobile sports betting were allowed, the bettors would need to be within the state boundaries. The app used would have the same interface that you’d see at the casino.

“That makes a lot of money for casinos,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-New York, “but it makes minimal money for the state.”

The governor says while most states with legal sports betting have their services run through a casino, that may not be the case here in New York.

“We want to do sports betting like we do the lottery,” he said.

The casino says that would cut them from the process completely and would be handled through the state’s licensed lottery establishments.

The governor says this way the state would be the ones to cash in.

“The way to the governor is proposing is that the state can get up to $500 million a year instead of 50 and the money would then go to the state budget,” said Robert Mujica with the state’s budget office. “Otherwise, for the bettors, it’s seamless and it’s exactly the same but the state gets the money versus others.”

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino is hopeful the state will run the betting through casinos like in many other states. It is gambling, so you do need to be over 18 in order to play.

Right now, you can only bet at the casino and you collect any winnings in person. With mobile betting, depending on state regulations when it comes out that could be subject to change.

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