Is New York The Next To Regulate Sports Betting? Some Odds Say Yes

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on October 12, 2018

What are the odds New York is the next state to regulate sports betting? International Gaming Technology (IGT) has them at 2/1 on a hand-out at the company’s 2018 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) booth.

Those odds are favorable considering lawmakers were a floor vote away from passing legislation in 2018. Therefore, sports betting will undoubtedly be a hot topic for the state in the coming year.

Where NY sports betting stands today

Rewind to 2013 when a constitutional amendment was approved by voters to expand casino gambling in the Empire State.

Within the language of that amendment were provisions which allowed for land-based sports betting at the states four upstate casinos:

Fast forward to 2018 when the US Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act to be unconstitutional. The decision opened the floodgates for legalized sports betting across the country.

Republican state Senator John Bonacic, chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, tried but failed to get a sports betting bill passed.

Lawmakers left for the year with unfinished business, which means the fate of any sports betting bill will not be resolved until 2019.

So far, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Mississippi and West Virginia are the only states to pass bill’s permitting sports betting within their borders.

Currently, the New York State Gaming Commission is working on sports betting regulations for the four upstate casinos. However, since the end of the New York’s legislative session, the commission has been mum on the status of those regulations.

The gaming commission could not be reached for comment.

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Future of sports betting

New York is not the only state IGT is keeping track of. In fact, the famed gaming company has Connecticut, Illinois and Ohio at 4/1 odds and Oregon at 6/1 odds.

However, New York, which serves as headquarters of most professional sports leagues, has been lobbied extensively by many different gaming interests in the past year.

In April, Bonacic announced his retirement from the Senate after nearly three decades in politics. It remains unknown if lawmakers plan to reintroduce Bonacic’s bill next year or proceed with something new.

Additionally, one issue with Bonacic’s sports betting bill was the inclusion of a 0.25 percent “integrity fee” for professional sports leagues.

The notion that the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL deserve a cut of profits has been a major discussion in several states looking to pass sports betting bills. But to date, no state has passed any bill which includes such a fee.

Following a recent hearing on Capitol Hill, the discussion appears to be shifting more towards official data rights.

New Jersey was the first state to begin taking wagers post-PASPA. It did not include any sort of carveouts for the leagues in its legislation.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming reported the state placed more than $95 million in total wagers during the month of August across retail and online channels. Of that, casinos recorded more than $21 million in handle.

Numbers are expected to increase substantially in September with college and professional football in full swing.

Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick comes from West Texas where he graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in psychology. After a five-year stint in Chicago, where he wrote about local politics and graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, he moved to Washington, D.C. to write about issues related to gambling policy, sports betting and responsible gaming.

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