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New York May Try To Legalize Sports Betting By Following New Jersey’s Lead

NY follows NJ sports betting
New York is looking to get into the sports betting game. Whether it can do so legally is another question altogether.

More than two years after New Jersey passed a law attempting to repeal its own sports betting ban, New York Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow is reportedly crafting a bill that would attempt to legalize sports betting in the Empire State.

Likely PASPA lawsuit

New York’s sports betting law would almost assuredly be challenged in court as soon as it goes into effect. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) bans single-game wagering everywhere in the US — except for Nevada — and allows only limited wagering in a handful of other states.

Based on the federal government’s reaction to New Jersey’s sports betting law — which the Pretlow bill is likely to be modeled after — New York will find itself in court. The NCAA and the major US professional sports leagues — the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB — would challenge any attempt by New York to legalize sports betting.

Any challenge of the New York sports betting law would end up in the federal court system’s Second Circuit. New Jersey appeals on its sports betting law have so far been rejected by the Third Circuit. The best-case scenario for both New York and New Jersey is that there would be a disagreement between the two circuits, likely sending the question of the constitutionality of PAPSA to the US Supreme Court.

NY stealing NJ’s idea – again

This isn’t the first time New York has ripped off an idea from its neighbor to the south.

New Jersey legalized casino gambling in the 1970s. The state owned a virtual monopoly on private casino gambling in the Northeast through the 1990s.

Within the past 15 years, though, many Eastern states, New York included, and have authorized casino gambling. The first of New York’s commercial casinos — at Tioga Downs — went live this month. Another — Del Lago — is slated to go live early in 2017.

The increased regional competition has been traumatic for Atlantic City. Five of its 12 casinos have closed since 2014.

MGM advocating for nationwide sports betting

At an appearance earlier this month at the National Press ClubMGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren again made the case for the US to legalize and regulate sports betting nationwide.

“This idea that sports betting somehow needs to be regulated in one state and illegal everywhere else really doesn’t reflect what’s happening today,” Murren said. “I built a beautiful new arena and we got the first professional sports team, it’s moving to Las Vegas… in 2017. How cool is that? Professional sports in Las Vegas, that would have been unheard of five or ten years ago.

“And people love to bet on sports and they love their daily fantasy sports,” Murren continued.

MGM has casinos in a variety of states, but now in New York.