Gov. Cuomo will back mobile sports betting in the state after years of holding out, the Daily News reported Wednesday. In December he said he would be open to fully legalizing online sports betting for the first time.
“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,” he said in a statement.
In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that each state could decide whether it would allow sports betting. New York legalized it but wagers can only be done in-person at casinos throughout the state. While other states jumped into mobile betting, New York sat and watched from the sidelines.
But with the state facing a looming budget deficit, New York may now get in on the action.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon) sponsored legislation to move mobile betting forward in the state.
Addabbo said it’s something that should have happened even before Covid.
“But now we are really in dire need of the revenue and educational funds that come along with mobile sports betting,” he told the Chronicle Wednesday.
A February report released weeks before the start of the Covid crisis by market researcher firm Eilers & Krejcik estimated that New York was losing out on between $203 and $286 million per year from not allowing mobile betting, and New Yorkers wagered $837 million in New Jersey in 2019.
New Jersey reached more than $900 million in total sports betting handle for the month of November, bringing in $50.6 million in revenue. “Our people are going to Jersey at a time during the pandemic when you want people to stay safely in their own state,” Addabbo said. “You don’t want them traveling.”
In October, more than $800 million was wagered, with more than 90 percent of the bets made via mobile apps.