As the budget deficit grows, New York State legislators are looking for a way to bring in cash.

Well, it could finally happen. Online sports betting may become legal in New York State. On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced legislation that will legalize online sports betting in the state. The reason behind the legalization is to close the budget deficit in New York State. According to Action Network, last month was the first time Governor Cuomo has acknowledged online sports betting could close the deficit gap.

In a press release, Governor Cuomo said:

"At a time when New York faces a historic budget deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current online sports wagering structure incentivizes a large segment of New York residents to travel out of state to make online sports wagers or continue to patronize black markets. New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States, and by legalizing online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars in revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis."

The companies that will run online sports betting in New York State must already have a partnership with an existing license casino in New York State, according to the press release. This means brands like DraftKings and FanDuel could become legal in New York State since they have partnerships with casinos.

Online sports betting is legal in two of New York's bordering states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In New York State, sports betting is currently only legal at the four Upstate casinos and at Native American gaming facilities. Roughly 20% of New Jersey's sports betting revenue comes from New Yorkers.

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