There’s something about a $15 billion budget gap that makes politicians really open their hearts and minds to the prospect of regulated mobile sports betting. That’s what’s New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is realizing as New York State faces a massive, pandemic-induced budget deficit that’s going to require new and inventive sources of revenue. It’s also why Governor Cuomo is backing a new plan to bring mobile sports betting to Empire State residents.
In previous discussions about mobile sports betting, Governor Cuomo wasn’t so much against the idea but thought that it violated the state’s constitution. Since actually changing the constitution is such a process, he thought it best just to skip out on mobile wagering entirely. But since the state has had massive outlays of cash and limited revenue because of the pandemic, Governor Cuomo is backing an idea to issue one mobile sports betting license to an operator who would be paired with one of the state’s four licensed casino operators.
In a statement reported on by the New York Post, the Governor expounded on his thought that the New York could structure its sports betting program in a way that generates more revenue, as much as $500 million a year, than other states. “We want to do sports betting the way the state runs the lottery where the state gets the revenue. Many states have done sports betting, but they basically allow casinos to run their own gambling operations. That makes a lot of money for casinos, but it makes minimal money for the state and I’m not here to give the casinos a lot of money,” he said.
Lawmakers are set to discuss mobile sports betting when they start their legislative session later this month.