Then there are the tribes: the Seneca Nation of Indians (casinos in Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Salamanca in Cattaraugus County); the St. Regis Mohawks (Hogansburg in Franklin County); and Oneida Indian Nation (Verona in Oneida County).
An upstate New York Assemblywoman, Marianne Buttenschon, wrote a letter to state leaders on Wednesday: “As we seek to complete the 2021-2022 New York State budget, we are requesting that any proposal to legalize mobile sports betting honor settlement agreements with the Oneida and Seneca Nations to ensure that all New York residents can participate in mobile sports betting.
“It is concerning that the proposal currently under consideration may result in residents of Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Erie, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and Otsego being unable to participate in and benefit from mobile sports betting legalization.”
The Oneida tribe has been particularly vocal this week, releasing a statement on Tuesday that read, in part: “The Oneida Indian Nation offered a compromise on mobile sports betting that addressed all issues related to its exclusivity. This compromise was approved by the State Senate and Assembly, and supported by Indian and commercial casinos in New York. It appears that the State nevertheless is rejecting that compromise. We will review the final language, but we have serious legal doubts about this legislation and the impact it will have on Central New York.”
In response, Cuomo and an aide suggested it would all be worked out — but again, it’s not clear how.
The lack of clarity in the language of the bills sent to Cuomo’s desk, and the possibility of lawsuits by spurned hopefuls, means it is wise of Addabbo to make the February 2022 Super Bowl a target for mobile sports betting’s launch in New York.
While other states have gone from approval to the finish line in less time, none have the complicating factors that New York does.
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