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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Pushes For Sports Betting In Upstate Casinos

In State Of The State Address, Cuomo Urges Regulators To Put Together Framework To Enforce Existing Legislation

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In 2013, New York passed a law that made it legal for four of its upstate casinos to offer sports betting. Nearly six years later, New Yorkers still can’t place a wager in their state.

In his State of the State address last Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made it clear that he wants to change that.

“Let’s authorize sports betting in the upstate casinos,” said Cuomo. “It’s here. It’s a reality, and it will generate activity in those casinos.”

The authorization already took place, but Cuomo’s words could be used to push the New York State Gaming Commission to put together a regulatory framework for casinos to follow. Under the current law, only Del Lago Resort, Tioga Downs, Rivers Casino, and Resorts World Catskills would be allowed to offer sports betting. Future legislation would be needed to open it up to the rest of the state’s gaming operators.

It’s neighbor to the southwest, New Jersey, launched legal sports betting in 2018 and has quickly become one of the larger markets in the country. Since launching both live and online sportsbooks in June 2018, New Jersey took over $1.2 billion worth of wagers, generating more than $94 million in revenue.

A good chunk of that money ends up in state coffers, a major reason Cuomo is pushing for the implementation of sports betting in his own state.

In December alone, online and in-person sports betting in New Jersey generated over $2.4 million in revenue for the state. A major portion of that tax revenue comes from New Yorkers crossing the Hudson River to place bets in the Garden State.

A study from Eilers and Krejcik Gaming projected that New York would generate $532 million per year in gross gaming revenue if the state implemented sports betting. The state already has a bill on the table to pass online poker.