New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will push for online sports betting

He said the state could become the country's biggest sports gambling market.

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New York Jets running back Josh Adams (36) celebrates his rushing touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has had a change of heart when it comes to online sports betting. He'll make legalization a focal point of his State of the State address next week, according to the New York Daily News.

"New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States," Cuomo, who had long opposed making online sports betting legal, told the newspaper in a statement. He added that legalizing online sports betting would allow the state "to keep millions of dollars in tax revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis."

Under Cuomo's proposal, mobile sports operators would have to obtain a state license and be tied to a licensed gaming facility, according to the Daily News. He'll reportedly ask the New York State Gaming Commission to seek proposals for offering mobile sports betting and to ensure operators of gaming apps include protections against addiction and abuses.

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Residents in neighboring New Jersey have been able to place sports wagers through their phones and computers since 2018 and the state is set to overtake Nevada as the country's largest betting market. In November, residents (and gamblers hopping over from New York and elsewhere) placed over $872 million in online bets, which generated over $30 million in taxes. That brought the state's haul from online sports betting to $268.8 million for 2020 so far, with final numbers to be revealed next week.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will push for online sports betting