New York appears to be taking another step toward regulated sports betting, but not the one the industry really wanted.

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In Tuesday’s State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that he’ll be pushing to get sports betting up and running in the state, a new revenue stream in a state that needs an infusion of cash to cover a $3.1 billion fiscal shortfall before it even gets to desperately needed infrastructure projects downstate.

Cuomo pointed to the fact that investment in upstate casinos saw a nice return on investment. Since those casinos are already in place, Cuomo wants to build on that by legalizing sports betting within those places.


“We invested in upstate casinos. Let’s authorize sports betting in the upstate casinos,” Cuomo said. “It’s here, it’s a reality, and it will help generate activity in those casinos.”

Following the US Supreme Court decision in May 2018, many expected the NYS Gaming Commission to promulgate the required rules as that law directs. The agency, however, has not made any tangible progress in the eight months since. It has been widely presumed that more legislation — or a nudge from the governor — is needed to move the regulatory process ahead.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year lifted a federal ban on sports wagering that had been mostly limited to Nevada. Can’t blame Cuomo for wanting in on the action.