by Alejandro Alvarez
New York is moving to legalize online gambling. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state is facing a 50 billion dollar deficit, and online sports betting provides the potential for increased tax revenue. A proposal includes having sports bets run through the state lottery instead of having sports betting at casinos. However, states that have chosen the lottery system to run sports betting have not seen the same success as states like New Jersey or Pennsylvania where sports betting is allowed at casinos. The potential issue with this type of lottery model is that it does not bring in healthy competition for the market to grow naturally. Governor Cuomo wants to run the sports betting through the state lottery because he wants to bring in revenue for the state instead of helping local governments and casinos profit off the industry.
New York state is also moving to legalize marijuana because of the potential tax revenue that can help New York recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Studies predict that, over the course of four years, the state can make up to $100 million dollars in tax revenue as a result of marijuana legalization. The state plans to use this money to help communities that were the hardest hit enter the legal cannabis industry. This bill will eventually allow people over the age of 21 to grow marijuana plants in their own homes and there will be a 13% tax on retail sale for state and local tax revenue. As a result of the new bill, an Office of Cannabis Management will be created and board officials will issue licenses for different steps in the supply chain. This new organization will be tasked with overseeing the regulation of adult use and medical cannabis programs. However, individual municipalities will have the option to opt out of the program if enough residents vote to do so.