The New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee has unanimously voted to advance a bill that would legalise in-person and mobile sports betting in the state.
Introduced in January by Senator Joseph Addabbo, Senate Bill 17 passed the Committee by a vote of 6-0 and will now progress forward to the Senate Finance Committee for further debate.
Should the bill come into law, there would be two different tax rates for the type of bets placed in New York. Casinos that secure a licence would pay tax at 8.5% on gross in-person wagering revenue, while mobile sports betting would be taxed at a rate of 12%.
Operators would need to pay a one-time fee of $12m (£9.3m/€10.7m) to secure a licence to run a sportsbook in the state. This would have to be paid within 30 days of being granted a licence by the New York State Gaming Commission.
Casinos offering sports betting services in New York would also be required to pay a royalty fee of 0.2% of the total amount wagered on a sports event to the sporting governing body that oversees the competition. This payment would be made on a quarterly basis.
Consumers placing a mobile sports wager would be able to do so from anywhere inside New York’s boundaries, with the option to register in-person at a licensed gambling venue or online via an approved platform.
Betting would be permitted across professional and collegiate sports events, but prohibited on high school athletic competitions or college sports contests taking place in New York.
The New York State Gaming Commission, which would assume responsibility for regulating the market, would be able to establish data-sharing agreements with casinos and sports governing bodies to help uphold integrity across all relevant sporting events.
Similarly, the Commission could enter into arrangements with other states to share information for integrity monitoring purposes.
S17 does not yet have a date for its first session in the Senate Finance Committee.
New York has been considering the introduction of sports betting for some time now, with the Commission setting out its initial regulations in January of this year.
Its proposed rules were quite different from Addabbo’s bill, setting out that only the state’s four commercial casinos could obtain licences, with sports betting limited to dedicated, in-venue lounges. No form of on-property mobile wagering or online betting was to be permitted.
New York lawmakers opted to omit mobile sports betting from the state’s FY 2020 budget, although they did include a number of reforms and initiatives for other forms of gambling.
These included plans to fix the pari-mutuel tax rate for five years, simplify the Commission’s structure for video lottery gaming in the state and set a cap on casinos offering free-play games to customers at 19% of the venue’s revenue.