As valuable revenue continues to flow into his neighboring states, New York State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. is pushing to pass a bill that would finally allow online and mobile sports betting for New Yorkers who so desperately want it.
During a recent interview with CBS2’s Steve Overmyer, Addabbo took the opportunity to go into detail regarding his support for mobile sports betting.
“Right now you have to go to the window in one of four upstate casinos,” He said, “It’s just not maximizing our sports betting potential.”
He also expressed optimism that a bill could still be passed inside the current legislative window so that work on expanding to mobile betting could begin as quickly as possible.
CUOMO CONTINUES TO BE BIGGEST OBSTACLE
After his decision to leave mobile sports betting off the 2021 budget, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo remains the largest source of opposition to mobile sports betting. It is no secret that mobile and online sports betting would hurt the business of brick and mortar casino operations located upstate, and Cuomo has publicly expressed his concern over the issue.
“The biggest hurdle is the Governor,” Addabbo explained. “When he wants something he gets it done. So we will continue working to convince him and his administration that this is the issue to work on. We can do this.”
New York State does not have the luxury of a booming economy at the present moment. Even before the onset of coronavirus the state was reporting a severe $7 billion budget deficit, but would not consider moving forward with mobile betting.
When asked about other possible reasons the governor was opposed to mobile sports betting, Addabbo admitted that there were some concerns about how to handle the issue of gambling addiction.
However, he then went on to say that the current system was also unable to address the needs of problem gamblers because they were “betting in New Jersey and illegally, we don’t know who they are.”
MOBILE BETTING WOULD MEAN MASSIVE REVENUE FOR NEW YORK
The potential for sports betting revenue in New York is enormous with so many fans and top sports franchises located in the state and Addabbo is eager to capitalize as quickly as possible.
Early projections have the state taking in at least $164 million in revenue from the first year of expanded mobile sports betting operations, with the possibility of that figure growing larger than $200 million.
Sports betting is expected to boom nationwide once the four major and most popular sports are allowed to resume. So far there are 18 states with some form of legalized sports gambling and state governments are looking for any option available to them that might generate more revenue in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Last month the popular online sportsbook Draftkings made the decision to go public on NASDAQ. After opening at just under $20 per share, the company has enjoyed a rise in its stock price of more than 30% as investors scramble to plug money into industries that may benefit from the reopening of the country.
ADDABBO WANTS URGENCY FOR MOBILE BETTING ISSUE
Sen. Addabbo expressed that there must be a sense of urgency to make a decision on mobile betting quickly. Something must be done to approve mobile betting so that New York is positioned to capitalize on the industry boom once professional sports are allowed to resume.
If New York can get the ball rolling on mobile betting now, they may have an opportunity to capture volume that can compare to the $4.6 billion that was wagered in New Jersey last year, much of it by New York residents.
As of right now, state officials in Albany are still in legislative sessions which means that steps can still be taken to pass a bill.
“I remain optimistic.” Addabbo said. “Let’s do this now so that when sports resume we are ready.”