Assemb. Gary Pretlow and Sen. Joe Addabbo have renewed their collective fight for fixed-odds horse betting and self-service sports betting kiosks at professional stadiums, arenas and off-track betting sites.
The duo of Pretlow and Addabbo, instrumental in the legalization of online sports betting in New York, will now make a third attempt at passing such legislation. The past two efforts never made it out of their respective committees.
If passed, the state would allow the nine NY sportsbooks to integrate fixed-odds NY horse betting wagers in the state. Operators would also be authorized
Details of matching NY sports betting kiosk, horse betting bills
In summary, matching bills S2343 and A3562 would expand New York sports betting offerings to include fixed-odds horse betting after sports betting operators partner “with the horse racing content provider,” which has garnered support from the New York Racing Association.
Currently, the state’s pari-mutuel wagering system sees pre-race odds shift all the way up to the race. Which means the odds you wagered on may not be the same as when the race kicks off. To boot, bettors can only place horse bets at licensed tracks or through select online horse betting apps such as FanDuel Racing NY.
If passed, this legislation would authorize fixed-odds betting via online sportsbooks, meaning the odds you bet on will not change after the fact.
In addition, sportsbooks can partner with affiliates and then place kiosks at the site of those affiliates.
According to the proposals, “affiliate” includes any off-track betting location as well as any professional sports stadium or arena and automobile racing facility that hosts a NASCAR race. In addition, a thoroughbred corporation can also become an affiliate as well as other licensed race tracks and a video lottery gaming operator at Aqueduct.
What does that mean? Seventh-inning stretch at Yankee Stadium, you make your way to the DraftKings Sportsbook NY kiosks to place a live wager. Or in between races at Belmont Park, you skip the line to the counter and bet on the FanDuel Sportsbook NY kiosks.
How proposed bills could impact New York
In the Senate bill justification, Addabbo notes how the state legalized and launched online sports betting in NY with the goal of achieving “the best financial opportunities for the state of New York.”
If legalized, this horse betting expansion and inclusion of kiosks “are expected to result in billions of dollars of tax revenue for the State of New York.”
Since launching, online sports betting has generated over $3 billion in NY sports betting revenue, leading to a record-setting $1.55 billion in state tax revenue, from an astounding $35.3 billion in accepted bets.
The industry comes off a second straight record-breaking year, during which NY sportsbooks neared $20 billion in 2023 handle, leading to nearly $1.7 billion in gross gaming revenue and almost $862 million in state tax revenue.
Combining horse betting with the sportsbooks, Addabbo told PlayNY in 2021, when he first suggested this inclusion, serves as a way of “maximizing the potential for this product of mobile sports betting in New York.”
Could NY online casino legalization efforts affect passage?
In the New York horse racing world, this effort by Addabbo and Pretlow represents a way to help bolster a floundering industry.
“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 in 2021.
“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. … 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.”
As for kiosks, Addabbo said in 2022 that adding this element “enhances a fan’s experience at a racetrack, arena or stadium.”
That said, there is little doubt that most of Addabbo’s and Pretlow’s efforts at the moment are focused on the legalization of online casinos in New York. Addabbo expects to introduce new legislation soon to include in the governor’s Executive Budget as the Empire State faces a $4.3 billion budget deficit.
How that affects potential passage of these NY horse betting and kiosks bills remains to be seen. But it appears clear that the priority at the time remains on NY online casino legalization.