New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is finally contemplating legalizing mobile wagering in the state. He is expected to make a pitch for it next week during the State of the State Address. His current stance is basically motivated to get millions of tax revenue which could push the state through during the economic crisis.
This news has obviously excited the New York mobile operators.
New York legalized betting in 2019 but it was limited to in-person betting in the four upstate commercial casinos and their tribal counterparts. The revenues from these casinos have been quite overwhelming. The casinos are at quite a distance from each other and the population of New York is of course another reason for the success.
Cuomo has opposed mobile betting for a long time. However, at a time when the tax revenue has slumped due to the pandemic, he does not want the bettors to cross over to New Jersey where mobile betting is thriving. However, he wants to run it as the Lottery is run in New York. He wants the mobile betting operators to have affiliation with the commercial casinos that are already existing in New York.
Cuomo however doubted that mobile wagering could go ahead without the amendment of the constitution. However, Gaming attorney, Daniel Wallach, pointed out,
“to conduct a game in which bets are placed on the outcome of pro sports events would require an amendment to the State Constitution in order to be implemented,” as per 1984 New York State Attorney General.
On the other side, in Massachusetts, legislators opted against including sports betting legalization in the economic development bill. Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a wagering bill last year, but Senate deferred it. The three-state casinos also pushed to exclude the online-only operators.
A new 2-year legislative session has started on Wednesday and the topic of sports betting is likely to come in 2021 up for discussion again.