ALBANY — Following the lead of 19 other states, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he is now convinced New York will benefit financially by allowing mobile sports betting.

One consulting company, Vixio Gambling Alliance, estimates the domestic sports betting market could mushroom to $8.4 billion by 2024.

The state Gaming Commission would control a sports betting network under the governor's plan. The commission regulates horse racing and charitable gambling events such as bingo and the state lottery.

The governor's proposal differs from ones advanced by pro-gaming state lawmakers that would have the mobile sports betting action controlled by casinos.

Budget Director Robert Mujica said a state-run sports betting entity could yield some $500 million for the state, dwarfing the estimated $50 million New York coffers would get if the casinos managed the wagering.

"I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money," Cuomo said. "I’m here to raise funds for the state, so we have a different model for sports betting."

As news of the New York plan reached Wall Street traders, the Roundhill Sports Betting & iGaming ETF (BETZ) shot up by 4.4% to an all-time high. It holds shares in 39 companies, including DraftKings Inc., whose stock price jumped by more than 8%, Bloomberg News reported.

Cuomo said his plan calls for the state to work with a partner in setting up the betting platform. The governor had previously been chilly to the idea of mobile sports betting but the state's looming multi-billion-dollar deficit has lawmakers and Cuomo seeking ways to expand the revenue base.

The existing New York casinos can take wagers on athletic contests, but only on premises. The pandemic and related travel restrictions have crimped business at those venues.

 

Joe Mahoney covers the New York Statehouse for CNHI’s newspapers and websites. Reach him at jmahoney@cnhi.com.

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