After years of opposing mobile sports betting in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has now done a complete about-turn on his decision. In a statement made this week, the governor said that he intends pushing for the legalization of online sports betting. He said that the financial difficulties that the state finds itself in resulting from the global pandemic required more revenue from different sources.
“New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States and by legalizing online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars of tax revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis,” said the Governor.
However, not everyone is happy with the governor’s idea. He is said to favor a state lottery-run sports betting platform, without involving casinos. This model, which has proven unssucessful in other states, could lead to a situation where there is practically no local competition, high prices and zero innovation.
Cuomo’s proposal involves the NY State Gaming Commission selecting a sports operator that is already a licensed brick-and-mortar casino. However, most of the revenue will make its way to the state, rather than the hosting casino.
“We want to do so the way we do the lottery, where the state gets the revenues,” Cuomo said.
Operators such as FanDuel issued statements following the governor’s announcement, saying that they were encouraged by Cuomo’s change of heart regarding sports betting in New York.
“We are keenly interested in reviewing the details of the proposal and look forward to legislation that creates a competitive mobile marketplace,” said FanDuel’s CEO, Matt King.
“We have seen in other states that a model with competition among experienced operators is critical to maximizing state tax receipts and consumer choice,” he added. “We look forward to working with the Administration and the New York State legislature to bring mobile sports betting to the residents of our home state in a manner where everyone wins.”
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