New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reversing course on mobile sports betting

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to introduce a measure to legalize mobile sports betting in next week’s State of the State address.

New York’s physical sportsbooks generated $16.3 million in 2020 revenue through November, according to Front Office Sports. But Cuomo long has pushed back on mobile sports betting, arguing that a new constitutional amendment would be needed in order for sports betting to be legalized in the state.

That stance began to soften last month, with Cuomo including mobile sports betting among the potential ways to offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis. In his new proposal, mobile sports operators would be required to be licensed by the state and partnered with a licensed gaming facility, according to the New York Daily News.

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“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 in tax revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis,” Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday.

Meanwhile, neighboring New Jersey reported $931.6 million in sports wagering in November alone, with the state collecting $6.2 million in taxes.

A recent study reported that 20 percent of New Jersey’s sports wagering comes from New York residents, according to the Daily News. New Jersey sportsbooks netted $50.6 million from sports betting in November, with 90 percent of the bets being placed online.

“At a time when New York faces a historic budget deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current online sports wagering structure incentivizes a large segment of New York residents to travel out of state to make online sports wagers or continue to patronize black markets,” Cuomo said.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)