Governor Cuomo Doubles Down On Lottery Sports Betting Model During NY Budget Address

Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reinforced his support for a state-run lottery-based online sports betting model. Cuomo briefly touched on sports betting as part of his 2021 Budget Address.

“One proposal would allow casinos to run mobile sportsbooks,” said Cuomo, speaking of State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow’s recent sports betting bill. “That’s good for casinos and their supporters.”

As part of the second proposal, “the people of the state of New York actually get the profits,” he continued, “Run [sports betting] the way we run the lottery; the state gets all the revenue.”

“I’m with the people and I believe the people of the state should get the revenues. This is not a moneymaker for private interests,” Cuomo concluded before moving on to other topics.

Alongside sports betting, Cuomo mentioned his support for legalizing recreational cannabis and outline other budget recommendations to offset the state’s Covid-related losses. 

The Story So Far for NY Sports Betting

During the budget presentation, Cuomo doubled down on his previous statement supporting a lottery-run sportsbook. He reversed his stance toward online sports betting in early January, voicing his support for digital platforms and citing budget concerns as the primary reason for his shift. 

But Governor Cuomo’s lottery-run model has been implemented in other markets, such as Montana, New Hampshire, and Washington D.C. The model, as we’ve previously noted, has limitations and can lead to lower overall revenue than a casino-based sportsbook structure. 

In response to the limitations of a lottery-run sports betting market, two New York legislators– Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and State Senator Joseph Addabbo–introduced a bill that would authorize a casino-run model for New York sports betting. This model would stage New York to compete with gambling-friendly neighbors like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In fact, New Jersey siphons potential sports betting revenue from New York, and it’s no small amount

What Comes Next?

New York needs to finalize its budget by April 1, 2021, according to Governor Cuomo. Between now and then, there will doubtless be new developments on New York’s road to sports betting legalization. And in all likelihood, this legislative stalemate could result in a budget that doesn’t account for sports betting at all, further delaying New York’s expected launch. 

Right now, it’s just a waiting game. We’ll keep tabs on New York’s progress toward online sports betting and provide updates along the way. 

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