NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, made the following statement in response to Governor Cuomo’s 2020 State of the State Message to the Legislature:
“As we go into a very difficult fiscal year, facing a state budget deficit of more than $6 billion, and working on many initiatives mentioned in the Governor’s State of the State, I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and my legislative colleagues to identify new sources of revenue to help close the budget gap, revitalize our economy, support local families and businesses, increase educational funding and continue to provide vital services to New Yorkers in need.
“First and foremost, to address these issues, I will continue to advocate for the implementation of mobile sports betting in New York State, which will curb the flow of dollars to nearby states, that could be used – now and in the future – to balance the state budget and provide needed funding support for education and create jobs. We took a step forward last year in permitting sports betting in several upstate casinos, but adding the mobile wagering component is crucial to reaping the benefits of this gaming activity and enabling us to compete with other states.
“I also intend to explore options that may be pursued with regard to the three unused casino licenses that are still available to launch gaming facilities in the downstate region. These licenses represent an untapped source of revenue for New York State, which could also be directed to important state programs and funding for our schools. I will be holding a public hearing of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee on January 22nd to begin gathering public and industry input on how we can best place these casino licenses on the front burner.
“This will be a very challenging year on many levels, and I am pledged to pursuing initiatives that will be part of the solution to the fiscal and public policy issues we are confronting.”