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NY Governor Cuomo Releases Budget; Does Not Include Sports Betting Revenues

Summary: As Governor Andrew Cuomo releases the next fiscal budget, it does not include sports betting, which has many wondering if the state will ever get started with the new industry.

With sports betting open for legalization in the United States, many individual states are working on passing bills to begin offering the activity. New York has been one state that has shown promise with top lawmakers, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking positively about legalizing the industry. However, after releasing the latest budget proposal for the state, Governor Cuomo has neglected to include any sports betting revenues, which has many skeptical that New York will enter the new industry.

No Revenues Included

After presenting his agenda for the first 100 days of this year a few days ago, Cuomo made it known that he was going to work on seeing sports betting come to fruition in the state. However, this week, his budget proposal was introduced and it does not include any revenues involving sports betting.

The executive budget proposal was introduced yesterday and was over 200 pages long. The proposal was given out during a joint budget hearing, in front of members of the Senate and Assembly. The proposal includes $1.8 billion in new revenues to try and reach the budget gap of the General Fund that has now reached $4.7 billon. However, none of the new funds will come from sports betting.

As Cuomo took office for the 2019 session, he promoted sports betting and said that the state need to legalize it. It seemed that his comments would see the Gaming Commission of the state get started with legislative efforts. However, that has not happened.

The state needs new revenues as the four commercial casinos in the upper region of the state continue to earn less than what was estimated. And not just a bit less, actually 100s of millions less. The addition of sports betting would fill in the gap missing from casino gaming and provide brand-new revenues to help fill in the budget shortfall.

In New York, a total of 13 joint hearings will take place before the final fiscal year budget for 2019-2020 will need to be submitted. The final submission must be made on April 1st. Many felt like the budget would include sports betting revenues and this would be a clear sign that the state was moving forward with legislative efforts.

Falling Behind

As New York continues to not move sports betting legislation forward, they fall further and further behind. The state is already behind their neighbor New Jersey based on the number of casinos in operation, online gambling options and sports betting. As more and more states get started with sports betting and other expansions, New York is only going to fall further behind.

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. has been working on S 17, a bill that would allow online betting to take place with the racinos set to offer sports betting. The industry would be taxed at 8.5% and 0.2% would be provided to the sports leagues as an integrity fee. The bill has yet to move forward.

If any progress can be made, New York stands to be successful. The state is quite large with eight million residents. The people of the state are now traveling to New Jersey to be able to place sports bets in person and online. The money moving out of New York is going to New Jersey but would serve the area well if allowed to. With sports betting at the state’s racinos, residents would have options that are easily accessible so dollars would stay in the state instead of going elsewhere.