New York Lawmakers Appeal To Legalize Pot And Sports Betting

Some New York state sentaors are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to legalize marijuana as well as mobile sports betting to help with the budget deficit.

The New York state budget was in dire straits before the coronavirus started to create havoc. They were dealing with a serious shortfall, and after the virus, the money in the coffers is on life support.

Lawmakers in favor of expanding the state gambling industry have been battling with Governor Andrew Cuomo for over a year. The Democratic Governor left mobile sports betting out of the New York budget this year.

Advocates of mobile sports betting in the state say that decision is having and will continue to have dire consequences. Lawmakers are again putting their efforts together in a new attempt to get Cuomo to sign an executive order to legalize mobile sports betting and marijuana.

The pot angle is a new one: A source directly involved in meetings said, “our situation is an emergency, and Cuomo must act now before it gets worse.”

Some parts of the state have been opening up, per order of Cuomo. New York City, for the most part, still has rigid stay-at-home orders. There is a “huge budget hole,” said a source who wanted to remain anonymous.

Lawmakers Believe Well Being Of New York Residents At Stake

A new group of foes for the governor have forged a union that is prepared to take legalizing vices to save programs to the highest level. Three Democratic state senators, Jessica Ramos, Brad Holyman and Jamaal Bailey, who represent Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Mt. Vernon, made their positions known on Friday.

The senators are working in concert with the Legal Aid Society to wage their war with Governor Cuomo, who at this point has been resistant to give the green light to mobile sports betting and recreational marijuana.

The Senators said on Friday, “There are just so many avenues to open up to try to raise funds. With people out of work and shutdowns continuing in the city, we are in deep trouble.”

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The Senators said, “This is urgent, and Cuomo has to stop with being stubborn. There are just so many ways to make money right now, we must do what we must do in order to make sure people have service.”

ny senator jessica ramos
Jessica Ramos is one of three New York state senators pushing for Governor Andrew Cuomo to make some changes to deal with the budget.

New York is facing a deficit that could be in excess of $13 billion, the lawmakers said. We haven’t seen numbers in the negative column like that for a very long time.

Sports Betting Advocate Senator Glad To Have New Allies

The one constant thorn in Cuomo’s side with budget issues has been Democratic Senator Joe Addabbo. The senator is happy to have a new group of allies to approach the governor.

There is strength in numbers, Addabbo said on Friday. With more and more pressure put on Cuomo representing different issues,

“Cuomo will have to relinquish his power struggle,” Addabbo said. “The pot issue is not as cut and dry as gaming and sports betting.”

Addabbo said even though it’s not an issue as one-sided as sports betting, he would be willing to support the efforts because, he said, “bottom line, we need the money, and with so many other states decriminalizing pot, we need to see the light here in New York.”

Addabbo is basically focusing his efforts on mobile sports betting. Sports betting at a physical location was going on before the March shutdown.

However, Addabbo argues that “if we had mobile sports betting up and running prior to the virus, we would be in very good shape now. People that would have placed bets at physical locations like casinos would have placed those bets online. We have lost millions upon millions of revenue in these last 10 weeks, and there is no excuse for that.”

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