January 6, 2021
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces Proposals to Enable Online Sports Wagering and Legalize and Create an Equitable Adult-use Cannabis Program

TOP Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript:...

Governor Cuomo: "We're going to turn to Washington for compensation as crime victims, as I call it with a slight rhetorical flourish. But we're also going to do our part to raise revenue and two places where we can raise revenue - one is sports betting and I'm going to ask Rob to explain how we want to do sports betting. We want to do sports betting 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. I'm not here to make casinos a lot of money, I'm here to raise funds for the state."

 

Cuomo: "Recreational marijuana, I think this should've been passed years ago. I think too many people have been imprisoned, and incarcerated, and punished. Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system. So, I've supported it for years. I've tried to pass it, but this is a year where we do need the funding, and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling. So, I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line."

WYSIWYG

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced legislation to authorize mobile sports wagering as part of the 2021 State of the State. Under Governor Cuomo's proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select and license a sports operator or platform to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. This operator or platform must have a partnership with one of the existing licensed commercial casinos. The Commission will also require any entity operating mobile wagering apps include safeguards against abuses and addiction.

 

The Governor also announced a proposal to legalize and create a comprehensive system to oversee and regulate cannabis in New York as part of the 2021 State of the State. Under the Governor's proposal, a new Office of Cannabis Management would be created to oversee the new adult-use program, as well as the State's existing medical and cannabinoid hemp programs. Additionally, an equitable structure for the adult-use market will be created by offering licensing opportunities and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Once fully implemented, legalization is expected to generate more than $300 million in tax revenue.

 

VIDEO of today's remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here

 

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here

 

PHOTOS will be available on the Governor's Flickr page

 

A rush transcript of today's remarks is available below: 

 

Governor Cuomo: Yes, look, we're going to turn to Washington for compensation as crime victims, as I call it with a slight rhetorical flourish. But we're also going to do our part to raise revenue and two places where we can raise revenue - one is sports betting and I'm going to ask Rob to explain how we want to do sports betting. We want to do sports betting 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. I'm not here to make casinos a lot of money, I'm here to raise funds for the state. So, we have a different model for sports betting. And then recreational marijuana, I think this should've been passed years ago. I think too many people have been imprisoned, and incarcerated, and punished. Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system. So, I've supported it for years. I've tried to pass it, but this is a year where we do need the funding, and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling. So, I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line. Rob, do you want to speak about sports betting though? Because there's a very big difference in the way we intend to do it.

 

Robert Mujica: So, the narrative out there has been that the state is losing billions of dollars to other states to sports betting. But the reality is that the billions of dollars that are being wagered and the money that's being made are not being made by the taxing jurisdictions. New Jersey, for example which is the most commonly used example, in the entire three years of sports betting they collected less than $80 million, actually only $45 million in 12 months, compared to the billions that are being talked about. The reason being everyone else is making a lot of money off of sports betting, the jurisdiction where it's in the state is not. There are a few states that have done it a different way, where the state contracts with the private sector who runs the sports books, but the state ends of getting the majority of what is left over after everything is returned to the betters. So, the difference between the two estimates would be between the state making somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million a year versus $500 million a year. So, the way the Governor's proposing it and we'll advance it is so that the state can get up to $500 million a year instead of $50 million, and that money would then go to the state budget. Otherwise, for the betters it's seamless and it's exactly the same. The only difference is the state gets the money versus others. That's the proposal, which you'll see when the Governor puts out his Executive Budget.

 

Governor Cuomo: Rob, how much do we think we would raise from marijuana?

 

Robert Mujica: Marijuana has a longer just runway by the time you set it up, but by the time it's fully effective under our proposal you'll get about $300 million a year. But again, that will take several years to get up to those numbers.

 

Governor Cuomo: And again, marijuana as everyone knows Massachusetts has legalized marijuana, New Jersey is going to legalize marijuana. So, what are we really talking about at this point?

 

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