New York could be the next state to lock down a sports gambling law. And it would be the biggest state to do so.
A unanimous vote on Monday moved the bill S17 to the Senate Finance Committee. The New York Senate Racing voted on the bill and then the Gaming and Wagering Committee moved it on.
S17 states in part, according to the New York State Assembly official website:
“Provides for regulation of sports betting and mobile sports wagering; defines terms; implements a tax equivalent to eight and one-half percent of sports wagering gross revenue; requires reporting; provides for civil penalties for violations; makes related provisions.”
A ballot referendum from 2013 was one of the first steps but this current bill increases the approved wagering on land-based at commercial casinos. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he believes that mobile betting was not covered by the amendment and would necessitate another public referendum. That whole progression might take three years.
S17 permits sports betting, but the horse racing industry is a true concern for many of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering committee members.
Racetracks, off-track betting parlors and “racinos” are not on the newest legislation presented and that is certainly a concern to the horse racing market.
New York State Senator Daphne Jordan was named the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee back in January. She was also named the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate’s Native American Relations Subcommittee.
“Horse racing is absolutely vital to our economy, job creation, local farms and way of life, not just here in Saratoga County, but across our Capital Region and the entire state,” she said when she was appointed.
“This is a cement that’s nearly not yet hardened and hopefully we can mold it, and hopefully we can mold it to be more inclusionary,” said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D), according to The Hill.
It remains to be seen if Cuomo will alter his mindset or provide the proper support but anything can happen.
According to recent reports, up to 25 percent of sports betting revenue in neighboring New Jersey is being made from New York residents crossing the border and going to New Jersey sportsbooks to place bets.
That was the precise thing Addabbo talked about when he was making the case for having a sports wagering law in New York.
“We’re sitting on the sidelines and letting our money go out of state,” Addabbo said earlier this year, according to the New York Post.
Furthermore, Addabbo said New York wants the bill to license to prevent revenue leaving its state. It would also control an action that is currently happening illegitimately. Addabbo said he would push to amend the state constitution if this measure fails but that could take a long time.
“We can stand by and do nothing and if that’s what this administration wants to do, that’s it. And we’ll do a constitutional amendment and we’re going to waste three years watching everyone else pass us by,’’ Addabbo said Monday, according to the Buffalo News.
Things are still early in the process but Monday’s development – just a day before the one-year anniversary of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act being repealed by the U.S. Supreme Court – is certainly a step in the right direction for New York and its legal gambling future.