Legalizing mobile sports betting and marijuana is the latest proposal to negate the impact of coronavirus in New York and survive the looming fiscal crisis. President New York Yankees z Major League Baseball (MLB), Randy Levine, made a proposal to help the cash-strapped city balance its budget.
Call to legalise mobile sports betting
According to Levine, a former deputy mayor and labor chief under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, even legalizing mobile sports betting and pot won't prevent deep cuts in government spending and looming job losses in municipalities, and he has proposed a new tax on wealthy hedge fund investors to generate revenue to fill the city's coffers.
With the election for a new mayor less than a year away, the new mayor will face a major crisis, Levine noted, highlighting the lack of any ideas or programs put forward so far that seem to be working. Randy Levine noted that given the severity of the virus' impact on New York's economy and tax base, state legislators can no longer push back the mobile sports betting problem.
Urging state officials to support the city and pass required legislation to legalize sports betting so New York can take advantage of the extra dollars other states are already using to cover their budget shortfalls, Levine stressed the outflow of funds to neighboring New Jersey has already affected New York.
Levine went on to argue that mobile sports betting has proven to be a cash cow ripe for New Jersey and despite the debate over legalizing mobile betting in New York by lawmakers and Governor Cuomo, there has been no progress and the ability to place bets via a mobile device is not yet available in the city.
The fourth Bill died at the assembly
A bill to address mobile sports betting in the state, S17D, is still in committee after the January Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Betting unanimously adopted it in January, after which it died in the Assembly. Despite this, the main sponsor of the bill, Senator Addabbo, still believes it could pass before the end of the year.
In October Addabbo expressed his firm belief that
"... We're doing it this year ... Hopefully we can implement it and get everything in place as far as regulations, equipment, contracts and everything else. By the time 2021 comes around, it's time for the Super Bowl and March Madness. That's my hope."
According to Senator Addabbo, legalizing mobile sports betting would help the state solve its budget deficit of $17 billion and not rely on federal stimulus, which may not be there at all next year. But the last bit would require Governor Cuomo to side with the bill, something he has so far refused to do.