As Campanile notes, Senator Tony Avella, a Democrat from Queens, has proposed a bill this week that would allow betting on the four major US sports as well as soccer at all racinos and casinos in the cash-strapped state of New York.
“We have to think out of the box,” said Avella. “I’d rather come up with revenue this way rather than raising property taxes.”
The proposal is a major watershed moment for gambling enthusiasts, as currently only four states (Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon) allow sports betting.
Aiding the possibility of this proposal actually being written into law in the fact that one of New York’s top state prosecutors, District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes of Brooklyn has come out in support of its passing.
The idea of legalizing sports betting is two-fold according to Hynes. First off, it would create a huge economic boon for the state of New York (studies estimate that sports betting generates as much as $100 billion nationally each year, with $15-30 billion coming from the New York market alone). Secondly, it would cut into organized crime, which is the major profiteer of illegal gambling today.
“Right now, sports betting is a cash cow for the mob,” said Hynes. “I’ve been in favor of legalized sports betting. It has always made sense to me.”
Hynes added that the state’s cut from legalized gambling would go to funding schools throughout the state.
“It would be a huge win for the state of New York,” concluded Hynes.
And if the rest of America follows suit, it could be a huge win for our country, and sports bettors, as well.