Several local lawmakers say mobile sports betting being negotiated in the new state budget must not cut out major parts of Upstate New York.

Senator Joseph Griffo is calling on the legislature and Governor Cuomo not to pass online sports betting if tribal nations are cut out of the final bill.

Griffo says under the Oneida Indian Nation’s agreement with the state and Oneida and Madison Counties, gaming that is not routed through the nation cannot take place in the nation’s exclusivity zone.

That means anyone living in a 10-county area including Oneida, Madison and Herkimer could not take part in mobile sports betting.

“Cutting out major parts of Upstate New York from participating in mobile betting is terrible public policy and would be unfair to these residents. If tribal nations are not incorporated into the state’s final bill, we would potentially be disenfranchising millions of New Yorkers from participating in mobile sports betting and from the economic benefits it generates,” said Griffo.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon are also expressing concerns over the legislation.

PIcente and McMahon issued the following joint statement:

“Excluding large parts of Upstate New York from participating in mobile sports betting is not acceptable. Our region, which consists of two of the 10 largest cities in New York State – Syracuse and Utica –  would not be able to participate in mobile sports betting if the Oneida Indian Nation is not included in the legislation. Having a statewide policy that cuts out Central New York is unfair and must be fixed. As Albany leaders like to say, ‘we are one state’ – that means we need policies that every New Yorker can benefit from, not polices that cut out our constituents.”

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