New York Governor prefers lottery model for sports betting

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has reiterated that he would prefer a lottery model for regulated sports betting. 

In the past, Cuomo had said that he might consider supporting multiple licenses being handed out in the state. 

The State Governor has said the question doesn’t revolve around whether or not the state should regulate the vertical, but instead where the money should be distributed. 

Two options to potentially move forward with

On Tuesday evening, Cuomo spoke at his address for this year’s budget. When it came to legalising sports betting, he had the following to say. 

“The question isn’t whether or not we do mobile sports betting. The question is more how and who makes the profit. And this is very lucrative. One proposal is we allow casinos to run mobile sports betting. That’s very good for casinos and the people who support casinos. 

“The second alternative is to have the people of the state of New York actually get the profits from mobile sports betting and run it the way we run the state lottery, which is its state-run and 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 to collect just more tax revenue. We want the actual revenue from the sports betting.”

Beyond his comments, he didn’t go into much further detail about regulating sports betting in the Empire State. 

How can we expect legal sports betting in New York to look? 

Cuomo had long been known for opposing sports betting beyond its current capabilities in the state. These are extremely limited, especially compared to neighbouring New Jersey’s thriving online and land-based markets. 

Two sports betting bills have been introduced by Gary Petlow and Senator Joseph Addabbo. Both of these were similar, and would allow for multiple commercial operators to apply for licences in the state. 

Cuomo, however, doesn’t seem to have similar plans. He wants a single-operator model, which has been introduced in Washington DC. 

According to the Governor, his sports betting proposals would bring in $500 for the state in terms of tax. New York is currently grappling with a huge budget deficit, which has been further exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19. 

Bringing players back from New Jersey 

Because sports betting in New York is so limited and mobile wagering is forbidden, New Jersey has benefitted greatly. According to Petlow, expanding sports betting regulations in New York would help the industry massively. 

He said:

“Thirty percent of the numbers that Jersey’s putting up are New York numbers. That’s by their own admission so it more than likely is more. New York state is two and a half times the size of New Jersey so we’re going to at least double.  

“Right now, in the last month, they’re doing $1 billion of handle a month. A billion dollars, $12 billion a year. We’re going to do at least twice that. So we do $2 billion a month or $2.5 billion a month, I think that all of our expectations will be met.” 

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