What do you do when your state is about to pass a budget that fails to account for nearly $2.3 billion of costs? Legalize sports betting, regulate the industry, and collect the tax revenue.
New York has completed the first stage, as a 2013 voter referendum passed in support of legal sports betting.
The state is in the process of completing the second stage when the New York State Gaming Commission approved a draft of the regulations. The regulations, which were unanimously approved, must enter into a 60-day public comment period.
The sixty days concludes on Friday, March 29.
Upon expected approval, the state would allow for sports gambling in the four upstate New York commercial casinos. The tribal casinos throughout the state would also be permitted to participate as they, by NY law, are allowed to offer any game that the commercial casinos do.
What Will The Tax Revenue Support?
The new industry would remove the underground operators from power and allow for the state to bring in some extra money to close the budget deficit.
Neighboring New Jersey operators have seen sports betting revenue at nearly $63 million in the last three alone and New York legislators are looking to capitalize on this as well.
“It offers great potential for increasing revenue without placing the burden on taxpayers,” said New York Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D- Howard Beach).
While the tax contributions from the revenue wouldn’t come close to balancing the budget, it would help promote a healthier economy.
The economic advantages that legalizing sports betting would impact include increased sales and tax revenues, along with additional jobs for the local economy. Tax contributions and supplementary income would help fund essential programs in the state, mainly based around education.
Addabbo has even pushed for an online betting platform which would include mobile betting. However, the originally approved regulations have no mention of adding a mobile feature.
“I am confident that by working together, we can develop and enact a comprehensive plan. It is big money, we know it is,” Addabbo said.
Upon approval of the regulations, sports betting in New York would be able to start as early as April.
Additionally, the state has until April 1 to vote on the 2020 budget set forth by Governor Andrew Cuomo.