NY Sports Betting Could Start in May, Governor Cuomo Has Concerns
This has been a busy week for New York sports gambling. On Wednesday, the State Gaming Commission posted its regulations for sports betting, which means that authorized casinos may be taking in wagers by Memorial Day weekend. It could also mean that the famous Madison Square Garden could also be taking legal sports wagers as well.
Sports Betting in New York
Today when the state Gaming Commission released its rules for sports betting, it also started a 60-day trial period during which time members of the public can speak their minds about the issue. After 60 days, sports betting will be allowed at four privately owned casinos.
In January, the Oneida Indian Nation announced it had entered into a partnership with Caesars Entertainment to bring sports gambling to three upstate casinos: Yellow Brick Road Casino, Turning Stone Resort Casino, and Point Place Casino.
No to Mobile Betting
On Monday, the possibility of legal online sports betting in New York became a bit scarcer when Cuomo said he has doubts about online betting.
Governor Cuomo’s administration has already announced that it would be against the state’s constitution to allow online sports gambling, but there is still some hope. The sports betting industry is pushing New York to legalize the activity, and having started New York’s fiscal discussions.
In an interview on the radio with WAMC on Monday, Governor Cuomo said they have already legalized sports betting at four different casinos in upstate New York, and also minimized how sports betting could impact the state. He also said that the revenue the state could see from sports betting isn’t as much as initially anticipated:
“Sports betting, first of all, does not make you that much money. New Jersey has sports betting; it’s on TV all the time. You can’t turn on the darn TV without seeing it. They raised something like $13 million – 13 million dollars is a rounding error in our state. So I don’t even think the economic benefit is there.”
Disagreement With Cuomo
Not everyone agrees with Cuomo’s statements on how much revenue sports betting will bring the state. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester County) said that the Governor is wrong:
Pretlow has sponsored all of the significant gaming-related expansion efforts for the last several years. He said the lowest numbers he’s seen for an estimate of illegal sports betting going on in New York is around $10 billion annually. He thinks a decent sports betting system in N.Y. could bring in $100 million in yearly tax revenue to the state.
“I don’t think it has a shot in the budget and I’m not advocating that it be in the budget, but I do think the governor should take a closer look than he’s taking on this situation.”
Online Sports Betting
Cuomo’s administration has said that in order to legalize online or mobile sports gambling, the constitution would have to be changed. This would mean two successive sessions of Legislature passing amendment(s), then a statewide referendum that would be, at the earliest, 2021.
For the rest of the states that are currently working on legalizing sports betting, New York is the perfect example of what not to do. This state has had it all backward since PASPA was overturned by SCOTUS 10 months ago.
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