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Cuomo Will Propose Expanded Sports Gambling, Legal Weed In 2021 Budget

Steven Senne

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will propose expanding sports gambling and legalizing marijuana in his state budget proposal, as a way to help close a $15 billion budget deficit.

Cuomo said the sports betting will be run by an existing licensed gambling casino in the state, but would operate similar to the state’s lottery system, to maximize revenues to help close New York’s budget gap.

“I’m not here to make casinos a lot of money,” Cuomo said. “I’m here to raise funds for the state.”

Expanded sports gambling could bring in an additional $500 million dollars a year. Legalizing the adult recreational use of marijuana would eventually bring in $300 million dollars a year. Some of that money would be steered toward communities adversely impacted by the state’s decades long prohibition of the drug.

Cuomo said he’s hopeful, now that Democrats have been successful winning Senate seats in Georgia, that Congress and President Biden, once he’s inaugurated, will craft a federal relief package to help close more of the state’s deficit.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.