On Wednesday, December 16th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo referred to legal sports betting as a possible source of revenue to help remedy a $15 billion budget deficit associated with the state’s response to COVID-19.
The governor’s message was relayed as part of a daily public briefing to New Yorkers, which included Gov. Cuomo’s perspective on why it is incumbent upon the incoming Biden Administration to “correct the situation” — a measure the Albany Law School graduate believes will occur in February or March 2021.
Following is a timestamps-based outline of comments made Wednesday by the New York state executive.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Mentions “Sports Betting” (Timestamps)
NY Daily Public Briefing – Dec 16, 2020 – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo YouTube channel (VIDEO CUED: 24:30-31:12)
(24:55) The state will advance $1.5 billion to cash-strapped agencies between now and late winter
(25:33) Why NY state tax increases will be necessary even with federal assistance
(26:01) “We need $15 billion…” — important decisions to be made either now, or in February/March
(26:51) Potential alternative revenue sources: marijuana and sports betting
“You want to raise taxes? Fine. From who? And where do they go? You want to do cuts for the rest? Fine. From where? Education? Housing? Health care? And, are there other ways to get revenue? How about marijuana? How about sports betting? Marijuana, we were supposed to have done for the past two years anyway, and would raise revenue.” -NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Dec 16, 2020
(27:07) NY state legislature has two choices: work on a complete budget now or wait until early next year
(28:33) Doing NY budget now would result in devastating layoffs for education, health, and government sectors
(29:27) $1.5 billion in funding will act as bridge for state-funded agencies in need from now until March 2021
(29:38) New York will have to address $15 billion budget deficit with or without federal funding package
(30:20) “This is all hard.” — “But pressure also forges diamonds.”
NY Sports Betting Only Part of Overall Solution (Author Commentary)
There are no indications that legal New York sports betting would generate anywhere in the neighborhood of $15 billion in yearly taxes for the state’s coffers.
And while Governor Cuomo isn’t requesting the entire amount from any single source, the urgent need for New York sports betting advocates to coordinate with state business leaders persists.
Yes? No? How much? From who? From where?
These questions are perhaps best troubleshot by lobbyist interests who possess the broadest of perspectives on the intricacies involved in New York’s fiscal policies… along with the unique realities the state will face in 2021 even with nuanced, cross-sector collaboration.
If momentum to authorize legal sports betting in New York truly exists, then 2021 could be a year in which local proponents’ competencies (and weaknesses) are legitimately tested in a focused, pressure-inducing real time environment.
Read More Statewide Legislative Coverage from This Author
Connecticut Sports Betting Legislation Study Guide (May 14, 2018)
PA Gaming Control Board Meeting Timestamps (Nov 2, 2018)
U.S. iGaming Geolocation Technology FAQs (Sep 7, 2020)
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FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons — New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo