NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, facing an economic chasm deepened by COVID-19 shutdowns, wants to follow neighboring New Jersey in legalizing mobile sports betting to help his state regain its financial footing.
After years of resisting the legalization of online sports betting, the governor will push for the lucrative measure in next week’s State of the State address, according to a statement published Wednesday in the New York Daily News.
“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,” Cuomo said.
The governor did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The likelihood that online sports betting may help New York close its multi-billion dollar budget gap is highlighted by the success across the Hudson (NYSE:) River, with New Jersey’s sports betting handle, or total amount wagered, in November amounting to $931.6 million. At the same time, New Jersey’s sports books recorded $50.6 million in revenue and $6.2 million in taxes.
An estimated 20 percent of New Jersey’s sports betting revenue comes from New Yorkers who cross the bridges and tunnels to bet.
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