Utica, N.Y.— New York State Senator Joseph Griffo and state assembly members Marianne Buttenschon and Pamela Hunter released a statement today calling on the state to not exclude the Oneida Indian Nation in the legalization of mobile sports betting. State lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo are currently trying to come to a deal in the new state budget that would allow New Yorkers to use their smartphones and devices to place sports wagers.
“Sports betting exists it’s at bricks and mortar mobile betting will exist what we’re trying to say is you need to apply that equally across the Native American casinos as well as the legal designated state casinos,” Griffo explained.
There is a growing concern that the deal would exclude areas where Native American tribes have exclusive rights to host and operate gaming, like Central New York’s Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego and Otsego counties. Under a 2013 settlement agreement between the state and the Oneida’s, the Oneida’s have gaming rights in the 10 county region and the agreement included any potential for mobile sports betting, but the governor’s current proposal would exclude the Oneida’s from placing their servers at commercial casinos.
“This proposal is ill-advised and is not reasonable,” Griffo said. “And I am hopeful they will see the errors based upon what we are bringing to their attention and what we are suggesting as alternatives which could be beneficial to everyone that is involved in this.”
By excluding the Oneida Indian Nation they are also keeping residents of the 10 county region from participating in mobile sports betting and potentially creating a breach in the settlement agreement created between the Oneida’s and the state resulting in a loss of tens of millions of dollars for local communities and the state.