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Gov. Cuomo Plans To Propose Legalizing Sports Betting, Marijuana In New York

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- With New York facing an a enormous budget shortfall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is placing his money on getting the Legislature to approve mobile sports betting and legalize marijuana to help close the gap.

And when it comes to sports betting, the governor has figured out a way to outdo New Jersey and other states by a mile, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday.

It was a momentous day when Gov. Phil Murphy opened up his wallet to personally inaugurate mobile sports betting in New Jersey. It brought in $50 million in revenue last year for the Garden State.

Now, Gov. Cuomo wants in on the action, but he wants to do it bigger and better because he thinks New Jersey's take is peanuts.

He said New York will run it, "the way the state runs the lottery, Marcia, where the state gets the revenues. Many states have done sports betting, but they basically allow casinos to run their own gambling operations. That makes a lot of money for casinos, but it makes minimal money for the state."

It's not that the casinos won't be involved. The governor wants to select a licensed sports operator to team with a casino, like the one in Yonkers, to run the operation.

Budget Director Robert Mujica said the New York plan will increase the take tenfold.

"The way the governor is proposing it and will advance it is so that the state can get up to $500 million a year instead of $50 million," Mujica said.

Queens Sen. Joseph Addabbo, chairman of the Senate committee on racing, gaming and wagering, said he's thrilled the governor is finally on board. But he wants to see a greater involvement from the casinos. He said the casinos have lost 4,000 jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have an opportunity here to not only recognize revenue. We have an opportunity to save these jobs, create more jobs and an opportunity to increase educational funding," Addabbo said.

The governor also wants to legalize marijuana, which is estimated to bring in $300 million a year in revenue.

With the Legislature back in session, sports betting and legalizing marijuana will be hot topics, along with a whole lot of other proposals to raise money.


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