New Bill Would Add Horse Racing To NY Online Sports Betting, Allow Stadiums To Set Up Betting Lounges

Written By Mike Mazzeo on November 23, 2021

New York State Sen. Joe Addabbo has sponsored a new bill to expand online sports betting.

The bill, if passed, would allow for fixed-odds NY horse racing to be included on the apps.

In addition, betting kiosks would be allowed at arenas, stadiums, racetracks, OTBs and VLTs.

“We haven’t even taken our first mobile bet, but I’m already thinking about how to improve it,” Addabbo told PlayNY. “And this harkens back to the legislation that was passed both in the assembly and the senate in our previous incarnation of mobile sports betting. Now, we’re incorporating some of that language into this bill so a New Yorker no longer has to have a fragmented (horse betting) app or one app for sports and another app for racing.

“So it’s providing a better product for a New Yorker while increasing revenue, educational funds, jobs, addiction money and everything else.”

The New York legislature adopts its annual budget between January and April.

Addabbo puts words into action with new NY betting bill

Addabbo has made no secret of his desire to get all this accomplished.

“That’s the next step for me,” Addabbo told PlayNY previously. “I have to have someone have the ability to bet the Mets, Jets, Yankees, Rangers, Islanders, whatever they want, and then the fifth race at Saratoga.

“Our initial vision that (former) Gov. Cuomo didn’t quite care for was rolling out, over two or three years, racetracks, OTBs, stadiums, arenas and kiosks. I still want to do that. And hopefully, I can get to work with Gov. Hochul and see that we can expand mobile sports betting to what it really should be in our state.”

NY betting apps would provide another lifeline for horse racing

New York has a deep horse racing history. But the question has always been long-term viability of the sport, which needs to attract a younger audience. The key tracks in the Empire State include Belmont Park, Saratoga, Yonkers and Aqueduct. Currently, customers can participate in NY horse betting online via apps such as NYRA Bets, Twinspires and TVG. They can also bet at the physical tracks.

“Allowing horse racing content and wagering to coexist within the mobile sports betting marketplace would grow the sport in New York, deepen the industry’s economic impact and attract new fans,” NYRA spokesman Patrick McKenna told PlayNY. “It would expand consumer choice by placing premium horse racing content on the same mobile shelf as other professional sports, which would generate $1 billion or more in additional gaming revenue for New York State.

“Senator Addabbo recognizes the importance of horse racing as an economic engine for the state responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact. The legislation he has introduced presents an enormous opportunity for horse racing to share in the benefits of mobile sports betting. It would be a big win for New York and for the future of horse racing.”

Sports betting lounges to come for NY pro teams

The NY online sports betting industry is expected to be fully up and running in early 2022. This bill, if passed, would pave the way for New York’s professional teams to open their own sports betting lounges.

New Yorkers would then have the opportunity to wager at venues like Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, UBS Arena, Highmark Stadium and KeyBank Center.

Recently, the Knicks partnered with BetMGM and Caesars. The Nets supported a bid by Fanatics, which did not receive a license. But the team also has an existing partnership with FanDuel, which could logically continue if not expand in nature. Brooklyn could also look to have multiple sports betting partners.

The Yankees, Bills and Sabres all supported the Super Bid by FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings and Bally’s, so it stands to reason those teams will form partnerships with one or more of those providers.

The Islanders told PlayNY in September they planned to have one or two partners at the most. The team has an existing partnership with Betway, though the provider doesn’t have a license in New York. It’s unclear how the Mets will proceed, but owner Steve Cohen certainly sees the value in gambling. Cohen has already engaged in preliminary talks with Las Vegas Sands about putting a casino near his team’s stadium in Queens.

The Giants (DraftKings) and Jets (WynnBet, Fubo, BetMGM) — based in East Rutherford, New Jersey — will also be interesting to watch.

“It’s maximizing the potential for this product of mobile sports betting in New York,” Addabbo said. “Kiosks, stadiums, arenas, racetracks, horse racing, this is something that I want to see over the next year, year and a half.”
Photo by AP / Seth Wenig
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo has covered New York sports since 2010, previously working as a beat writer and columnist for ESPN (Nets), Yahoo Sports (NBA/MLB) and the New York Daily News (Yankees). His work has also been published in the New York Times, New York Post, Forbes and The Ringer.

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