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NY betting bill amended to permit in-stadium wagering


Some of New York’s sporting arenas could be able to offer betting to patrons, after legislation to legalize land-based and mobile betting was amended by authors, Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Gary Pretlow. 

Addabbo’s bill, S17, and Pretlow’s companion bill in the New York Assembly A6113 were amended yesterday (June 6) to significantly expand the outlets at which betting would be legal, should it pass into law.

Both off-track betting (OTB) locations and New York Racing Association (NYRA) facilities would be allowed to offer mobile wagering via kiosks, per the amendment. These would be allowed to launch betting alongside New York State’s four upstate casinos. 

Facilities hosting video lottery terminals and racinos, however, would only be allowed to launch sports betting 12 months after the vertical goes live at the casinos, OTBs and NYRA outlets. 

The bill’s definition of affiliates to licensed sports betting operators has been amended to include sports arenas. This means casinos could partner stadia to offer sports betting. 

However, this would only be permitted if the county in which the stadium is located does not have an existing affiliate, such as an OTB, franchised gambling outlet, racetrack or VLT facility. Under these terms Madison Square Gardens on Manhattan, which has already trademarked is brand for gambling purposes, would be eligible. 

Also eligible would be the Bronx’s Yankee Stadium, Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre, Buffalo’s New Era Field and Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum. The New York Jets and Giant’s MetLife Stadium, based in New Jersey, and Citi Field in Queens – where the Aqueduct Racetrack is located – would not.

The launch of sports betting at these locations would be subject to a 20-month delay. 

The authors of the legislation explained that they had made the changes to address concerns expressed about their initial plan.

“I continue to believe that legalizing sports betting, and enabling people to place wagers from their phones and other devices, has tremendous potential to create jobs and raise significant funding for education and other vital public programs. This amended bill expands on where and how an individual can place a sports wager,” Addabbo said. 

“Together with Assemblymember Pretlow, I intend to work with all interested parties in bringing legal sports betting to New York,” he continued. “We can’t just sit back and watch New York’s illegal sports betting business flourish while money flows out of our state and into New Jersey.”

Pretlow added that currently billions of Dollars were being wagered on the black market by New Yorkers. 

“By enabling the mobile sports wagering component, we will be able to capture a majority of this illicit practice while further protecting our consumers” he explained. “Senator Addabbo, our staff, and I have been working continuously to craft legislation that is considerate of all major stakeholders.”

S17 was passed by the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee last month, progressing to the Finance Committe, with A6113 progressing down the same path in the Assembly. 

The bills, originally filed in January, aim to legalize sports betting across all channels, with each land-based venue permitted to operate one skin under their license. Operators are expected to pay a license fee of $12m, then an 8.5% tax on land-based sports betting revenue, which rises to 12% for mobile wagering. 

It mandates the use of official league data for sports betting purposes, and also sets out a royalty fee, to be paid quarterly of 0.2% of sports betting handle for the leagues. 

With the New York legislative session ending on June 19, the bill has a short time to progress through the legislature. It remains to be seen whether state Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign it into law, having previously argued that a constitutional amendment is required to allow mobile wagering.