For most, if not all, states in the USA, the COVID-19 pandemic has been quite a big blow to their economies. The ability of the state authorities to collect revenue has been greatly impeded, something that is justifiably unavoidable since most businesses that rely on the physical presence of people have had to take a backseat. Retail betting is one of the biggest casualties of the downturn and tax revenue from that sector has been essentially non-existent.
New York, one of the states that have suffered the most due to the pandemic, has a balance sheet that is very worrying, to say the least. As it stands, the state’s Division of the Budget is has forecasted a fiscal revenue drop of a whopping $13.3 billion. To make it even worse, this further extends to a mind-numbing $61 billion through the 2024 fiscal year.
Naturally, there are already a ton of proposals flying around with regard to finding new revenue streams. One of the most notable proposals pertains to deriving revenue from gambling activities. According to Jim Colby, a municipal bond manager in the state, the boom in online betting means that the state could make a killing from taxing the sector. He believes that now more than ever, the Empire State should consider online sports betting due to its revenue potential. Several other states have already jumped onto the bandwagon.
“…New York showcases an opportunity, seen by many states nationwide, for the adoption and taxation of online sports betting. The appetite for gambling within New York and nationwide is in our view strong, but it is not yet fully realized by state and local municipalities,” Colby commented.
Online betting on in-stage college teams and betting on sporting activities are currently illegal in New York.
The reason for the renewed look into sports betting might have some motivation from the ravaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic but the arguments that support it are very familiar. It is safe to say that New Yorkers are placing online sports bets anyway albeit with off-state or international gaming sites that are not under any form of local regulation.
That should perhaps be a motivation to convince New York lawmakers to draft a law that will allow them to keep the sports betting revenue within the state’s borders. Tapping into the sector will certainly be a great leap forward for the Empire State especially now as it struggles to recover from the revenue shortfalls it is facing amid the pandemic.