Gov Cuomo's Briefing Gives NY Sports Betting Backers A Glimmer of Hope

Stephen Abiola
Stephen Abiola
Online Casino New Jersey

NY mobile sports betting backers seem to be having a field day as Gov. Cuomo gives a glimmer of hope as to what will become of the gaming industry. This is all thanks to dwindling revenue caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a 50-minute Covid-19 briefing, Cuomo spoke intensely regarding means of generating more revenue to fill in the state’s current $15 billion budget gap.

The governor initially looked towards tax increases as a means of revenue generation and then he asked several questions that meant a lot to most New York mobile sports betting backers. He asked, “Are there other ways to get revenue? How about marijuana? How about sports betting?”.

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Gov. Cuomo Moved On To Other Topics

With those questions thrown up in the air, Cuomo moved to other things. He went on to list the pros and cons of preparing a budget in a few weeks as to waiting until February.

The governor said he preferred the delay as he hoped that incoming Joe Biden’s administration would look towards more amendable ways of providing financial aid to states which are barely keeping their heads above water due to strapped budgets.

Cuomo added that the cons of hurriedly crafting a budget would require laying off hospital workers, teachers, and state government employees to enable the State to draw a true picture of its financial state.

Translating Gov. Cuomo’s Rhetorical Question

For New York sports betting enthusiasts, those simple four words – “How about sports betting?” – were enough to hope for a favorable turn of events.

These four words have already produced loads of speculation which should be cleared in the coming months.

Does this mean that Cuomo has changed his opinion that including mobile app sports betting to the land-based version already in play at New York casinos would require an amendment in the constitution (a process that would take several years)?

Would New York taking the big step of adding mobile sports betting or online casino gambling to make other governors take a similar route? Unfortunately, there seems to be more hope for marijuana legalization supporters than gambling-expansion backers.

Cuomo’s Stance Towards Mobile Sports Betting

Cuomo has been making several phrases and statements regarding mobile sports betting in the past months. In early 2019, he declared that he was not a fan of mobile sports betting. He also claimed that the $13 million in taxes collected by New Jersey, which allows mobile sports betting, is simply a rounding error and won’t benefit the economy.

However, the Garden State has seen a sharp increase in revenue with up to $31.8 million in 2019, compared to the $4.7 million from land-based casino wagers. Even New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has seen the benefits of such legalization. According to him, New York would see revenues of up to $100 million per year in mobile sports betting taxes.

This makes up for one and a half percent of the $15 billion budget hole. This might not be the incentive that would change Cuomo’s mind considering it doesn’t truly make up for much in the budget gap.

This will be extremely disappointing to many New York sports betting enthusiasts tired of taking a walk, riding their bike or car to Jersey City or Hoboken to make their wager.

With the budget crisis growing, it is hoped that Cuomo would look to other means of revenue to avoid mass layoffs in his administration. However, there is no point in getting your hopes up as the governor already has a way out in the works. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include legalizing mobile sports betting.

As it seems, those four words don’t mean much other than making up a rhetorical question. For another group though, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel as Cuomo moves to make one of the most sought-after products legal in New York State in 2021. And yes, it is smoking pot.