Advocates for Youth Sports Funding Scored a Big Win in New York

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After marathon negotiations, New York State’s leaders announced late Tuesday night that a deal had been reached on a $212 billion budget. As expected the deal includes mobile sports betting for the first time in New York and maybe not so expected, but welcomed by many, the deal also earmarks a portion of the tax revenue generated by mobile sports betting for youth sports programs. In an earlier post, we discussed the long process of legalizing mobile sports betting and the push to get funding for youth sports included in the bill.

The effort to find alternative sources of funding for youth sports has been lead by the Aspen Institute, Project Play Western New York, Youth Sports Collaborative Network, and Assemblymember Wallace among others. The agreement allocates 1% of mobile sports betting proceeds in the first fiscal year, then $5,000,000 annually after that. The fund will be administered by the Office of Children and Family Services and is to be used for statewide youth sports activities and education in underserved communities. The exact language reads:

This is viewed as a huge victory by everyone who has been involved in the efforts to provide youth sports programs the much needed boost following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also left many optimistic that other states will follow suit. New York has laid out a roadmap on how youth sports funding can be incorporated into legislation that legalizes mobile sports betting, aiding other states to do the same or find similar ways to provide funding in the communities that need most.

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