New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Endorses Legalized Mobile Sports Betting

By in Gambling Laws on
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  • Gov. Cuomo to unveil plan to legalize mobile sports betting in New York next week
  • New Jersey is about to shatter the all-time US record for annual sports betting handle
  • New Yorkers account for a large chunk of sports bets placed in New Jersey

Back in 2018, New Jersey became the first state other than Nevada to fully legalize and regulate its own sports betting industry. The Garden State’s new industry has quickly gone on to become one of the most lucrative in the entire country. The betting handle and revenue generated by sports betting in New Jersey is already rivaling the numbers we see out of Nevada on a monthly basis.

So, it should come as no surprise that other states are looking to follow in New Jersey’s footsteps. One of the states now looking to get in on the action is New York. On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fully endorsed the idea of opening and operating a mobile sports betting industry in his state. The Governor said that he plans to unveil his plan for mobile sports betting as a key part of the policy proposals that he will lay out in his State of the State address next week.

The news is a bit of a surprise considering Governor Cuomo’s previous stance on the matter. Cuomo has repeatedly said that he is reluctant to raise taxes in the state before the federal government decides whether to offer more financial aid to states and cities, he initially showed a new openness to mobile sports betting last month.

On Wednesday, Cuomo said, “New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States, and by legalizing online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars in tax revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis.”

New York Seeking Additional Revenue

The news of Cuomo’s new stance on the matter comes as the state continues to deal with the intense fallout from the pandemic. While the state has done a decent job of keeping case numbers down as cases skyrocket elsewhere around the country, New York is still feeling the effects of the pandemic in a number of ways.

Last month, Cuomo said, “Are there other ways to get revenue? How about marijuana? How about sports betting?” It’s worth wondering whether Cuomo would be this open to the legalization of mobile sports betting if New York weren’t desperately in need of additional revenue streams, but the pandemic seems to have forced his hand.

New Jersey reported a record-breaking sports betting handle of over $931 million in November, which trumped the handle recorded in any other state, including Nevada. New Jersey’s sportsbooks totaled $50.6 million in revenue, with the state receiving $6.2 million worth of that amount in taxes. More than 90 percent of all bets placed in New Jersey in November were placed online.

Cuomo’s optimism about the potential for sports betting to be big business in New York makes sense in light of a recent study that showed that 20 percent of New Jersey’s sports betting revenue comes from New Yorkers traveling across the border to place their bets.

The Governor added, “At a time when New York faces a historic budget deficit due to the pandemic, the current online sports wagering structure incentivizes a large segment of New York residents to travel out of state to make online sports wagers or continue to patronize black markets.” Cuomo has previously asserted that adding legal sports betting in New York would require a new amendment to the state’s constitution. His proposal will call for mobile sports betting operators to receive a license from the state as well as a partnership with a licensed gaming facility.

Cuomo Finally Gives In To Pressure

Cuomo’s proposal will call for the New York State Gaming Commission to make a request for proposals to offer legal sports betting in the state. Cuomo is also insisting that the Gaming Commission expand its integrity programs to ensure that the industry operates in the safest way possible while trying to curb gambling abuse and addiction.

New York State senator Joe Addabbo has been privately asking Cuomo’s aids to consider adding legalized sports betting considering the massive success of the industry in New Jersey.

New Jersey is on the verge of setting an all-time record for yearly sports betting handle, which is an impressive feat considering how the sports calendar was shaken up by the pandemic. New Jersey is expecting to break the previous record of $5.3 billion, which was set by Nevada just last year.

DraftKings and FanDuel, which are now both major sports betting operators, commissioned a study last year that reported that legalizing sports betting could add up to $200 million in revenue for New York. In related news, DraftKings’ stock price jumped had jumped over six percent as of Wednesday morning.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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