It looks like it is finally happening. Mobile betting is coming to the Big apple.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he would make legalizing online sports betting a focal point of his policy proposals in his State of the State address next week. A big change of tune from the Governor, who was opposed to mobile gaming for much of 2020.
In a statement published by the New York Daily News, Cuomo said that “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.”
Budgetary issues caused by COVID-19 have led to the Governor finally embracing mobile sports betting in New York. Just last month the Gov. Cuomo stated that the pandemic’s ripple effects have devastated the state. Per the Governor, the State is $50 billion in debt between local and state governments.
Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. of New York has been a proponent of mobile betting and has led the charge to push online gaming through the state since last year.
“The deficit and debt would be offset by the revenue brought in via mobile betting,” Addabbo told me. “It’s a no brainer.”
Addabbo has also been outspoken about the revenue lost by New York to border states, most notably, New Jersey. Currently, mobile betting works by geolocation. For this reason, bettors simply travel across the state border to New Jersey to place their wagers, then travel back. Given legal, out-of-state sports betting options in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, New York is missing out on $1 billion a year, Addabbo said.
“Twenty-five percent of mobile betting in New Jersey is from New Yorkers,” he said.
Per Cuomo, the state will “keep millions of dollars in tax revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild” from the coronavirus crisis.
As the deficit continues to grow and after watching New Jersey generate billions in revenue that should be New York’s, Cuomo seems to have no choice but to move forward.