State working on agreement with Oneida Nation to move forward with online sports betting

The state doesn’t plan to leave Oneida or other counties of its sports betting legislation, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Posted: Apr 5, 2021 6:29 PM

The state doesn’t plan to leave Oneida or other counties of its sports betting legislation, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

During a media conference call Monday, Cuomo and Budget Director Robert Mujica discussed why sports betting has been a sticking point in budget discussions.

“It depends on where you're standing or where you're sitting when you make the bet. That's what we're trying to work through,” said Cuomo. “If you’re standing in an area that has Indian gaming, and that bet goes to the state rather than through the casino – that revenue goes to the state. Their claim is since you’re in their physical area, they should get that bet – the revenue from that gaming.”

According to Cuomo, the state can either run sports betting through the casinos, and they would get the profits, or through third-party sports vendors, and the profits would go to the state. In areas outside of Indian gaming zones, the state plans to use the third-party vendors.

Mujica says the state is trying to work out how to make sure the Oneida Nation and all 10 counties in its exclusivity zone are included in the bill.

“We want all the counties to participate – we want the Oneidas to participate – we want to honor all the terms of the existing compacts,” said Mujica. “And we are actively working to draft the legislation that will reflect all of those principals. So, that is where we are, we think we’ll get to an outcome that will resolve that issue.”

Mujica says the state is in the process of drafting a request for proposals.

“We think that when that selection is finally done, will result in a way that that actually respects both the sovereignty of the nation, respects the compacts – and also enables the state to get the portion of the sports wagering that it will get from all of the other counties as well,” he said.

Last week, local leaders Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, said a provision in the state budget would prevent the 10 counties from receiving sports betting revenue.

Cuomo says that’s not the case, they just have to work out the details.

“It is a unique development. In the old days, if you were standing on Oneida County, and if that area had exclusive gaming to the Indian tribe… the bet was placed at the tribal facility. Now, you’re standing somewhere but you do it on your mobile device, it happens over the internet,” said Cuomo. “Where was that bet placed? Is it placed on the internet, and therefore to the state? Or because you were standing in Oneida County, even though you’re not in a casino, you’re at home in your living room, where does that revenue go? That’s what Rob was referring to, that we’re trying to work out.”

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