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Governor Cuomo pushing to legalize mobile sports betting

6 Jan 2021

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced legislation to authorize mobile sports wagering as part of the 2021 State of the State. Under Governor Cuomo's proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select and license a sports operator or platform to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. This operator or platform must have a partnership with one of the existing licensed commercial casinos. The Commission will also require any entity operating mobile wagering apps include safeguards against abuses and addiction.

Governor Cuomo: "Yes, look, we're going to turn to Washington for compensation as crime victims, as I call it with a slight rhetorical flourish. But we're also going to do our part to raise revenue and two places where we can raise revenue - one is sports betting and I'm going to ask Rob to explain how we want to do sports betting. We want to do sports betting the way the State runs the lottery, Marcia, where the State gets the revenues. 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. I'm not here to make casinos a lot of money, I'm here to raise funds for the state. So, we have a different model for sports betting. And then recreational marijuana, I think this should've been passed years ago. I think too many people have been imprisoned, and incarcerated, and punished. Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system. So, I've supported it for years. I've tried to pass it, but this is a year where we do need the funding, and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling. So, I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line. Rob, do you want to speak about sports betting though? Because there's a very big difference in the way we intend to do it."

Robert Mujica, New York State Budget Director: "So, the narrative out there has been that the state is losing billions of dollars to other states to sports betting. But the reality is that the billions of dollars that are being wagered and the money that's being made are not being made by the taxing jurisdictions. New Jersey, for example which is the most commonly used example, in the entire three years of sports betting they collected less than $80 million, actually only $45 million in 12 months, compared to the billions that are being talked about. The reason being everyone else is making a lot of money off of sports betting, the jurisdiction where it's in the state is not. There are a few states that have done it a different way, where the state contracts with the private sector who runs the sports books, but the state ends of getting the majority of what is left over after everything is returned to the betters. So, the difference between the two estimates would be between the state making somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million a year versus $500 million a year. So, the way the Governor's proposing it and we'll advance it is so that the state can get up to $500 million a year instead of $50 million, and that money would then go to the state budget. Otherwise, for the betters it's seamless and it's exactly the same. The only difference is the state gets the money versus others. That's the proposal, which you'll see when the Governor puts out his Executive Budget."
 
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