Governor Andrew Cuomo has finally gone on record all but admitting he would like to approve mobile wagering in New York.
The question is why he waited so long, and only until the state of New York was in desperate need of tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before essentially U-turning on his previous views.
In April 2019, Kambi CEO Kristian Nylén told Gambling Insider mobile sports wagering will «definitely» happen in New York and that it will only be a matter of time.
Despite nothing being official yet, it seems the CEO was right and that past arguments put forward by Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr, chairman of committee on racing, gaming and wagering did not fall on deaf ears.
It it perhaps the record sports betting and online gaming numbers being posted by neighbouring New Jersey, however, that have most likely caught Cuomo’s attention.
The Governor is quoted by the New York Daily News as saying in a statement: «New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the US and by legalising online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars in tax revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis.
«At a time when New York faces a historic budget deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current online sports wagering structure incentivises a large segment of New York residents to travel out of state to make online sports wagers or continue to patronise black markets.»
In other words, Cuomo may as well tell online sports betting advocates «sorry, it turns out you were right all along.»
Naturally, though, it would appear the significant economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been a huge influence behind Cuomo’s thinking.