NY Yankees President Randy Levine Calls for Expanded Gambling
Randy Levine, the Team President of the New York Yankees, is calling for expanded gambling in New York City to help with COVID-19 economic recovery.
Every state in the US is trying to come up with ways to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic rages on, businesses are struggling to stay afloat, and many states are suffering from lack of revenues. In New York, the MLB’s Yankees Team President Randy Levine would like to see gambling expanded, with casinos added downstate and mobile sports betting authorized. With these new options, more revenues could be brought into the state to assist with losses.
Jump Start the Economy
Levine decided to give his two cents recently during a guest spot with Empire Resort. In a piece with the online news site, Levine said that a mayoral election will take place in less than a year and there are ways that changes can be made now and, in the future, to help New York City.
According to the former deputy mayor for economic development, Levine says the city needs the state’s help to push and pass laws that other states are already taking advantage of to fight budget shortfalls. He feels that mobile sports betting should be approved and possibly marijuana laws. New Jersey has already done so and it is impacting New York.
Mobile sports betting could be legalized and help the hospitality and restaurant industry to bring in new revenues. Already, New Jersey has created a large sports betting, leading in the US overall. New York City is a big reason that the industry in the Garden State is doing so well because residents travel to the neighboring state to place bets.
New York offers sports betting but is limited to tribal casinos and upstate venues. Players who are closer to New Jersey will just travel there to wager.
Levine, as well as others, are pushing for casinos to be allowed early in downstate as well as mobilized sports betting to help recover from huge budget deficits. There are multi-billion dollar shortages on the table for the next few years. New gaming revenues would not fill the hole completely, but it would be a good starting point.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that around $30 billion will be needed within the next two years to help fill the gap. Cuomo says the federal government is to blame based on the initial lack of COVID-19 protocols. The governor would like to see help from the federal government instead of having to try and come up with new forms of revenue.
Right now, there is a moratorium for issuing casino licenses in the city. This is part of an agreement that included four casinos upstate. The upstate casinos were to open first and then downstate gaming could start by 2023. However, the upstate venues have not done as well as expected, even before the virus.
Levine as well as Former Governor David Paterson are pushing for the three downstate casinos to be allowed now. With licensing and fees, these venues could bring $1.5 billion to the state immediately. This would not be close to meeting the shortage, but it is funds that would be available immediately.
It will be interesting to see if lawmakers decide to take up this change. Legislators will have to decide if they will allow the downstate casinos to open early. In the meantime, the Resorts World Casino New York City has plans to expand. The casino will be offering more to visitors, which will hopefully provide more revenues.
Just a few days ago, the state tax revenues reached the $3 billion mark and it was the first time the property had done so in nine years.