For quite some time, New York governor Andrew Cuomo has been a strong opponent of legalized mobile sports betting and Marijuana in his state. He argued that online betting legalization wouldn’t be possible without a constitutional amendment and remained reluctant to online sports gambling even as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged through the state in 2020.
Will Governor Andrew Cuomo Legalize Mobile Sports Betting & Marijuana In New York?
However, the latest numbers detailing the record revenues from mobile betting in the neighboring New Jersey have certainly caught the eye of the Governor. That, combined with a staggering budget deficit caused by the pandemic led Governor Andrew Cuomo to significantly softening his stance on this issue.
Garden State sportsbooks received an estimated $931 million worth of bets in November alone
The New Jersey sportsbooks received an estimated $931 million worth of bets in November alone. Ultimately, this sets the new monthly record for the fourth consecutive time and bringing the year-to-date total to over $5 billion.
Two other numbers are particularly important when it comes to Cuomo’s change of heart on online wagering: 96.6% of November bets in New Jersey were made via mobile devices and nearly 20% of the Garden State’s betting revenue comes from New York residents.
I’m announcing a proposal to legalize cannabis and create an equitable adult-use cannabis program in NYS.
This program will generate much-needed revenue, while allowing us to support those that have been most harmed by decades of failed cannabis prohibition.#SOTS2021
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 6, 2021
On the other hand, the 2020 New York budget initially accounted for a $7 billion deficit which has risen to $17 billion due to the Corona crisis.
Legalization of marijuana and online sports betting as potential solutions?
Cuomo, who has repeatedly expressed his unwillingness to raise taxes, first mentioned other ways to get revenue during one of the December press conferences, naming the possibility of legalization of marijuana and online sports betting as potential solutions.
This Wednesday, in a statement published in the Daily News, NY Governor further expanded on the idea, noting that New York has the potential to overtake New Jersey as the US gambling capital.
Cuomo added that millions of dollars in tax revenue will increase the state’s capacity to rebuild and recover from the current crisis.
There are a couple of ways online betting legalization in New York may play out. The logical, and originally suggested option, is that mobile betting operators would partner with already licensed gaming facilities, with servers running the online services likely located at some of the physical casinos currently operating upstate.
BETMGM, Empire City , DraftKings, Tioga Downs in Nichols, Fox Bet, Ceasars, FanDuel and Draftkings/
The natural fits for first operators would be BETMGM currently operating Empire City Casino, DraftKings which already runs retail betting at del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, FanDuel doing the same at Tioga Downs in Nichols, or Fox Bet and Ceasars who have deals in place with Mohawk and Oneida Tribe, respectively.
FanDuel and Draftkings have been lobbying for this to happen for a while and even ordered a research back in February which showed that this model of mobile betting would bring more than $200 million in revenue for the state.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo says he would like to run online betting through state lottery rather than casinos?
However, in his latest statement, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated he would like to run online betting through state lottery rather than casinos.
This would leave the New York residents with only a single operator, a model similar to what has been implemented in Washington D.C. where it failed to generate the expected revenue. A single betting operator would mean less competition and thus a more unfavorable environment for bettors with worse prices and fewer investments into innovation.
This Legal Online Gambing Business Model Not Favorable For Sports Betting Fans?
However, some experts are claiming that this online betting model wouldn’t be in line with the state constitution, so, while legalized online betting seems to be right at the door in New York, the way it will function still remains to be seen.
• Source: Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces Proposals to Enable Online Sports Wagering and Legalize and Create an Equitable Adult-use Cannabis Program from Governor.ny.gov On January 6, 2021.
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