Huge Double Dip for Leagues in This NY Mobile Sports Betting Bill

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:

Sports betting is legal in the Empire State, but few can place bets.  Currently, only land-based casinos operate sportsbooks in regions that are not easily accessible to most living in New York.

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A new bill is on the table that would allow for mobile sports wagering.

"Start spreading the news: New York could legalize online sports betting by Labor Day," tweeted out Mattew Kredell, Lead writer for Catena Media covering legislation and regulation of sports betting and online gambling.

But sports betting industry expert Joe Brennan, Jr. noticed one signficant flaw in this latest measure.  An insane 0.20% of the handle goes to the sports leagues.

PlayNY, the Catena Media New York affiliate arm, was among the first outlets to announce the news of a sports betting measure.  More specifically, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow tells PlayNY that he has a commitment from assembly leadership for NY online sports betting to be part of the revenue bill.

Pretlow indicated that the commitment came from Speaker Carl Heastie, who opted not to pursue a constitutional amendment bill by last week’s deadline.  Heastie had previously indicated an amendment to the state constitution would be required for any type of gambling expansion.

“I do have a commitment that, when we do the revenue enhancement bill, this will be part of it,” Pretlow said. “I wanted to do the constitutional amendment as a backup but they told me it wasn’t necessary.” 

PlayNY noted that the legislature is waiting to find out how much New York gets in a federal coronavirus relief package before beginning negotiations on the revenue bill.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had previously insisted a constitutional amendment would be required to allow for mobile sports betting in the state as gambling expansion is prohibited without such an amendement, and it is he who has the final say. 

“The bottom line is that, if we did a constitutional amendment, it’s throwing up the white flag that we’re not doing it this year,” sports betting proponent Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. said. “But I’ve warned people that, consequently, we need to do it without an amendment or it’s going to be another four years.”

Pretlow added that the revenue bill will not contain expedited downstate casinos, which the governor opposes.

The New York State Legislature suspended its session, effective April 2, 2020. Lawmakers resumed session activity on May 26, 2020. The legislature adjourned on June 10, 2020. 

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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