New York’s Legislature Squashes Mobile Sports Betting
People wanting to wager on sports bets in New York will have to attend one of the four casinos and do it in person, or travel into New Jersey to place a mobile bet, at least for now. New York’s legislative session ended this week and the bill that would have legalized mobile sports betting failed to even draw a vote in the state Assembly. This was incredibly frustrating to supporters of the bill, but Governor Andrew Cuomo insisted that New York voters have to first approve a Constitutional amendment to allow mobile sports gambling.
Why Did This Bill Fail?
In the Senate, the bill passed 57-5 earlier this week, to allow mobile sports gambling, and at many different kiosks in the stadiums and arenas in the state. Many supporters, including Assemblyman Pretlow, thought that meant it would pass in the Assembly, but a stalemate among top Democrats in that chamber meant the vote didn’t even get to happen. It became an utter disaster and it has left many legislators frustrated. Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. was one of the first to voice this displeasure:
“NY will be stuck like a disabled car on the shoulder, while we allow an illegal sports betting business in our state thrive and idly watch other neighbor states pass us up with enormous revenue gains from mobile sports betting.”
Another lawmaker, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who was instrumental in trying to get his chamber to go forward on mobile sports gambling, said he was trying to make a deal with Cuomo but was told it wasn’t going to happen without a Constitutional amendment.
Because Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie sided with Governor Cuomo on the fact that mobile sports betting would require a Constitutional amendment, the bill effectively died on the same day the legislative session ended. Of the stand-still, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow pointed to leaders being stuck on the constitutional question.
Since the amendment process will take three years, New Yorkers will be waiting a very long time before they can legally bet online in New York.
Current State Law
As of right now, New York laws state that people may only bet on sports in person, at one of the four upstate casinos: Tioga Downs, Resorts World Catskills, Rivers, and Del Lago, as well as the tribal casinos.
With sports betting restricted to in-person bets at brick-and-mortar facilities, supporters of the bill say the state is losing millions of dollars to illegal and offshore betting companies.
Sports Betting in the U.S.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, the federal ban on sports betting in states outside of Nevada. SCOTUS declared PASPA unconstitutional, and with that decision, the states were all left free to make their own laws surrounding sports betting. So far, in addition to Nevada, governments in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Mississippi, and New Mexico have legalized sports betting. Several other states have recently passed bills but do not yet have full-scale legalized sports betting.
New York has moved at a snail pace to tackle sports betting within their borders. Unfortunately, their lack of promptness and agreement will cost the state tens of millions of dollars because of no mobile betting.
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