Mobile betting on hold as New York pols squabble

Genting Malaysia’s Resorts World New York City slot machine parlor at Aqueduct race track could seek a full casino license this year, depending on extended budget negotiations in state capital Albany.

Improvements to New York’s gaming rules that put special interests ahead of business success and public benefit await a state budget deal, originally due April 1. Budget negotiations have gone into overtime to enact mobile sports betting and offer three casino licenses in the New York City area, where currently only slot machines are allowed in three locations.

Mobile sports betting remains particularly contentious, with Governor Andrew Cuomo, legislators, the Native American Oneida Nation and local officials pushing different plans. No regulated industry can ever completely beat the political house, but New York stands out for government consistently trumping common sense.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a contributor to Forbes and Inside Asian Gaming, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.