New York legislators will be asked to rethink their stance on legalizing online sports betting in the state in December.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit New York hard and has seen multiple industries suffer massive losses which in turn have impacted state revenues.
New York is expected to have a multi-billion dollar deficit in its budget and lawmakers are looking at new ways to bring in much needed revenue to the state and give it an economic boost.
One of the most lucrative ways of bringing in revenue is legalizing online sports betting.
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow and State Sen. Joseph Addabbo are two legislators who have campaigned hard for online and mobile sports betting. They believe this is the best time for New York to lift the ban on online sports betting and are confident that legislators will be able to recognize the need to legalize sports betting at the earliest.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will push forward a revenue bill in December and it will include the option to legalize sports betting. Pretlow said that given the way things are due to COVID-19, legislators cannot blatantly dismiss the possibility of mobile sports betting. He remains confident that legislators will take a serious look at sports betting in December and might even approve it before the end of 2020.
New York Needs Revenue Coming In
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not been very keen o legalizing mobile sports betting. None of the budget proposals he has upcoming, has provision for mobile sports betting. Gov. Cuomo has already announced a $10 billion reduction in expenditure as a result of COVID-19. This massive cut in spend is likely to result in a 20 percent reduction in educational funding.
New York needs to find more than one new revenue stream to boost the state’s economy. The one that is most obvious is legalizing online sports betting because it has already been discussed in the past but did not get the necessary approval.
Gov. Cuomo disagreed with mobile sports betting legalization as he does not believe it will generate sufficient income in New York to make a significant difference. If the sports betting bill does not go through in December, Pretlow said that the Senate and Assembly will have sports betting initiatives for their budget proposals for 2021.