There is breaking news in New York today, as Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has a change of heart. He’s been locked in a battle with sports betting advocates and sponsors about whether to approve online sports betting. In-person sports betting launched in the ‘Empire State’ in July of 2019, legislators and Gov Cuomo have been reluctant to give the green light for online sports betting. New York’s neighbor New Jersey, broke a new sports betting record yesterday; it seems like the tides are turning.
The COVID-19 hits keep striking New York, an early epicenter of the virus. They seemed to gain a bit of reprieve from the virus in early fall, only to have spiking cases again in November. It’s forced non-essential businesses to close for a second time, and the budget deficits keep expanding. Cuomo appeared at a press conference from the state capital in Albany. Governor Cuomo called legalizing online sports betting “a budget crisis solution.”
Continued COVID-19 Issues Cuomo Sings A New Tune
Cuomo, a former attorney who has been in office since 2011, indicated that the state must look for $15 billion that has been lost due to the virus. Some of his ideas are raising certain taxes that he did not expound on, cutting programs, or expanding gaming via online sports betting. Some of the governor’s detractors were very quick to point out that the option of allowing online sports betting was on his desk long before COVID-19 surfaced. If Cuomo goes through with his’ budget solution’ New York would be the biggest state with online sports betting, and some think, could take a massive bite out of New Jersey’s sports betting profit margin.
The two most vocal and consistent supporters of sports betting in the state have been Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow was elated with the governor’s Wednesday press conference. Both lawmakers indicated a multi-billion dollar shortfall in the state due to the virus and other issues.
Addabbo said, “I would not be shocked if online sports betting is up and running before January 1.” Addabbo went one step further with his comments regarding the governor. He said, “he was very surprised to actually hear him say the words sports betting because, in the last two years, he’s never said those words.”
Naysayers Are Expected To Fold Now
Addabbo and Pretlow also added, “that due to the financial crisis the state is in now, anyone that was on the fence about online sports betting, has no choice anymore.”
Senator Addabbo talked to the Action Network after the press conference. He wanted to make something obvious. He said, “this is not a green light, but it’s extremely promising, and the most progress for online sports betting since the fight began.” Both lawmakers agreed that to get online sports betting in New York up and running in 2020, all the paperwork would have to be in place by December 21. Due to the financial crisis, the state is in, they likely agreed. Addabbo said, “the new budget is done in April, and there are millions of people in the state that can’t wait until April, it’s got to happen now.”