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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After watching New Jersey turn into America's new sports betting capital this fall, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ready to embrace mobile betting as a way to generate much-needed revenue for the state amid the pandemic.

Driving the news: In a statement to the New York Daily News, Cuomo said he will make mobile sports betting a central part of his policy proposals to be laid out in next week's State of the State address.

"New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States, and by legalizing online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars in revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis."

Between the lines: Cuomo says he wants to run sports betting through the state lottery, as opposed to casinos. "I'm not here to make casinos a lot of money. I'm here to raise funds for the state," he said.

  • This approach has proved "disastrous" in places like Washington, D.C., which has struggled to generate revenue, writes Action Network's Darren Rovell.
  • "A lottery model means only one sportsbook would operate, leading to less competition, worse pricing for consumers and little to no innovation."

The backdrop: New York has been losing out on sports betting revenue for years, as residents travel across the border to place bets in New Jersey, turning the state's train stations into gambling hubs.

  • Wild stat No. 1: An estimated $837 million was bet in New Jersey by New Yorkers in 2019, accounting for roughly 20% of the Garden State's wagering.
  • Wild stat No. 2: New Jersey will approach $6 billion in handle for 2020 — and that's with no March Madness and a four-month sports outage. Once New York gets on board, it could do even bigger numbers — and fast.

Looking ahead: "New York, with a population of nearly 20 million, dwarfs any other state with legal betting and should have no problem regularly topping $1 billion a month in wagers," says industry analyst and former American Gaming Association official Sara Slane.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 28, 2021 - Health

New York AG: State severely undercounted COVID nursing home deaths

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Data from New York's public health department undercounted COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, according to a report released Thursday by state Attorney General Letitia James.

The big picture: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration had not been including nursing home patients who died after being transferred to the hospital in its tally of over 8,500 nursing home deaths. Data provided to the attorney general's office from 62 nursing homes "shows a significantly higher number of resident COVID-19 deaths can be identified than is reflected" in the official count.

11 mins ago - Technology

States court tech money even as they bash companies

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Some of the country's fastest-growing states are publicly attacking the tech industry's business practices on one hand while courting its investment on the other.

Why it matters: Attracting technology companies is a holy grail for economic development because they bring high-paying jobs and prestige to aspiring tech hubs. But that project is now colliding with some state leaders' efforts to rein in tech companies' growing power.

Minnesota governor denounces alleged police violence against media

Law enforcement officers pepper spray freelance photographer Tim Evans (L) as he identifies himself a working journalist outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Friday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Gov. Tim Walz (D) spoke out Sunday over allegations that journalists covering unrest in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center have endured police violence, telling CBS Minnesota: "Apologies are not enough, it just cannot happen."

Why it matters: Since violations of press freedoms came to national attention last year, with reports of journalists being arrested and assaulted while covering anti-racism protests, violent encounters with law enforcement seem to have become the norm.