Online sports betting has yet to be legalized in the state of New York, but that could be changing soon. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been an opponent of online sports betting in the past, but it appears that he is changing his opinion.
New York is staring at a massive budget deficit brought on from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the governor could be looking at sports betting to help correct the problem. Cuomo suggested this very thing during a press conference last week, and this was the first time he has shown support for sports betting.
Lawmakers have made several attempts to legalize mobile sports betting in the past, but they have not been able to get the governor on board. Industry experts have encouraged New York to allow online betting, and mobile sportsbooks have made a pitch as well.
Pennsylvania is currently the biggest state that offers online sports betting, with a population of around 12 million people. New York has more than 20 million people, and it would take over the top spot from Pennsylvania.
Retail sports betting is legal in the state, but New York continues to come up well short of other states with the industry. All of the retail sportsbooks are located several hours away from New York City, and some of these properties have been shut down due to COVID-19.
Cuomo has made several other suggestions to bring in new revenue, but he is now turning to sports betting. States will online sports betting have used this money to solve budget issues, and New York could do the same.
The governor has continued to suggest that a new constitutional amendment would be needed before online sports betting could be legalized, but lawmakers disagree. Some of the top proponents argue that placing the servers at the retail locations would follow the current gambling rules and regulations.
Now that it appears Cuomo is finally on board with sports betting, lawmakers are expected to make a big push in 2021. It is also the lawmakers’ job to help create new revenue sources, and everyone agrees that online sports betting is a great solution.
New Jersey the Clear Leader
Even if New York were to legalize online sports betting in 2021, the state would face an uphill battle to catch its neighbor. The state of New Jersey is now the clear leader in the sports betting industry, setting new records nearly every month.
In November, sports betting handle totaled more than $930 million, and $1 billion in handle is a real possibility in the future. Nevada and Pennsylvania are the second and third largest sports betting markets, but they can’t even come close to keeping up with New Jersey.
New York continues to lose sports betting dollars to New Jersey each month, but that would change with legalized online sports betting. For now, New Jersey is reaping the benefits of New York not making that change.