Governor Cuomo Wants Legal Sports Betting in New York
New York’s popular Governor wants legal sports gambling to come to New York this year, and he’s going to do what he can to make sure it does happen. In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo made the following comments:
“Let’s authorize sports betting in the upstate casinos. It’s here. It’s a reality, and it will generate activity in those casinos.”
This is a departure from what Cuomo said last year; he initially said that more legislation was needed before New Yorkers and visitors could place bets on sports.
Sports Betting in NY
In 2013, New York passed a law that would authorize four casinos in Upstate New York: Resorts World Catskills, Tiogo Downs, Del Lago Resort, and Rivers (Schenectady) to offer sports bets made in person as permitted by federal law.
In May, when the Supreme Court overturned the federal law that prohibited sports betting outside of Nevada, New York and all other states were free to make their own laws surrounding sports betting if they hadn’t already.
Unfortunately for Saratoga Casino Hotel, Saratoga Race Course, and the Capital Off-Track Betting locations would be prohibited from offering sportsbooks.
In the months following the SCOTUS ruling, the New York State Gaming Commission discussed the fact that it was coming up with sports gambling regulations but nothing has turned up yet.
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has said that he plans to bring forward new sports gambling legislation this year, including online sports betting, and thinks it’s highly likely that the activity would be approved this legislative session.
The President and Executive Director of the New York Gaming Association, Michael Kane, said that although New York’s constitution is “slightly conservative,” the NYGA can’t really disagree with it:
“I think our group is a little disappointed, but understand the complexities.”
Any tribal casinos in the state will have to follow sports gambling regulations imposed by the state due to the compact between the tribes and New York.
New York has been widely criticized for dropping the ball when it comes to legalizing sports betting. But, if they can get something going this year, before the NFL season comes back around, then I think that will ease some of the frustrations pro bettors have been expressing.
Mobile Sports Betting in New York
It appears as though online and mobile sports betting is at least three years away for the state since it would require a constitutional amendment to make it legal. This is according to the Division of Budget, which is interpreting the constitution. The same would go for any type of sports betting done outside of a land-based casino, such as a riverboat casino.
New York State Constitution
According to the state’s Constitution, only certain types of gambling are permitted, and the 2013 law that allowed for sports betting only named the four upstate casinos as possible venues.
State Senate Racing and Wagering Chair Joe Addabbo introduced a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would authorize more operators and also online and mobile betting.
Speaking about sports betting, he said that it will likely be a large part of budget negotiations. His goal is to maximize both job creation and state revenue; right now the state budget only predicts $4 million in revenue from sports gambling for 2019 due to the restrictions:
“If everybody interprets our constitution to say we’re limited and we need a constitutional amendment, so be it. I’m just a little disappointed by that, because it’s a three-year process.”
It would be 2021 before voters could approve a constitutional amendment in New York, at the earliest.
Sportsbooks in New York
Casino operators are starting to plan what their sportsbooks will look like, and where they’ll be located. The Rivers Schenectady Casino wants to make a space in its Van Slyck’s bar and offer a Vegas-style atmosphere with comfortable seating and plenty of screens.
Rush Street Gaming, which runs Rivers Casino, has been planning since May, what their sportsbook facility will look like. Greg Carlin, the CEO of Rush Street, stated that sports betting could attract a lot of new visitors. He says they are moving as quickly as the NYGC allows them to move.
The Oneida Indian Nation has three casinos in central New York that are expected to launch The Lounge with Caesars Sports at its locations this year.
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