While the current pandemic has proven to be extremely tough on economies around the world, states are now looking for ways they can bounce back and start to recover the lost tax revenue of the first half of the year.
Combine that with the rising interest in legalized online sports betting, and suddenly it looks like there might be a path forward where both sides prosper.
That is exactly the discussion happening in New York right now where many argue that tax revenues from online sports betting could prove to be the saving financial grace.
While it’s not a new discussion, the push to legalize online sports betting in New York is certainly picking up steam at the moment.
Those who support the move are hoping it will be legalized “soon”, as in when the lawmakers head back into session. It will be then that they look at the 2020 budget and try to figure out ways to make this gaming expansion work.
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow-D, Westchester County, feels quite strongly that it will move forward and was quoted as saying, “it’s going to happen”. Pretlow is a lead sponsor for the online sports wagering bill before the Assembly.
But, for all his positive comments, not everyone is convinced it will happen. There are those who think it won’t be good for the state and that it could even risk running a deficit thanks to the casinos. Then there are those who feel the state offers enough gambling options already and don’t want to add more to the mix.
Governor Andrew Cuomo firmly believes it’s not up to the lawmakers to make the decision rather it would require a multi-year constitutional amendment process. This scenario would also involve a full referendum that would take place state-wide, which is definitely not a quick process.
Currently in New York, sports betting is legal at brick-and-mortar casinos that have a valid permit. Those are all shuttered at the moment thanks to the public health restrictions. The only ones that are open still are the Native American casinos.
There has been an increased interest in sports betting thanks to the fact that live professional sports are slowing returning back to action.
Excitement has grown with the return of the MLB especially with multiple teams located in the state of New York. Additionally, individuals can now place wagers at legally opened casinos on the NBA, darts, soccer, table tennis, and the upcoming return of the NHL.
If anything is to happen with legalized online sports betting, the first passage measure would need to be ready by August 3rd. Although the timeline is short, that’s the only way it can happen 90 days before a general election as required.
Considering there has been no talk of the session returning before then, it is looking highly unlikely. What that means is that it may not be voted upon until 2021 at the earliest.
However, that’s not stopping the bill’s co-sponsors as they still feel their bill is legal and that it doesn’t require any sort of constitutional amendment, which would only make the process longer.
The debate over mobile sports betting was a heated one when New York legalized wagering on sports. Additionally, neighboring states Pennsylvania and New Jersey are enjoying tremendous success with their gaming industries especially with online sports betting.
In the case of New Jersey, their gaming industry is starting to rival Nevada’s as their mobile sports betting has exploded. This fact is not lost on those urgently pushing for legalized online betting in New York. It’s clear, New York’s lack of foresight in this industry has come back to bite them in the big apple.
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