New York Hearing on Mobile Sports Betting Wednesday

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Associated Press
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow wagering on sports on mobile devices, an issue that’s also being debated in other states.

A ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for sports betting outside Nevada, the only state where it was previously legal. New Jersey and six other states have since legalized sports betting. New York is likely to join them this summer.

Under current plans, it will only be allowed at four upstate casinos, but Senate gambling committee co-chairmen Sens. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., of Queens, and Gary Pretlow, of Mount Vernon, have introduced legislation that would also allow sports betting on mobile devices as well as eventually permitting it at non-casino venues such as sports stadiums and arenas.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said expanding sports betting beyond the four non-Native American-owned casinos requires a voter-approved constitutional amendment.

Fellow Democrats who control the Legislature dispute that, saying the state can already allow it. Addabbo called limiting sports gambling to four casinos “baby steps.”

“By not doing the mobile component, we’re merely scratching the surface,” he said.

The state Gaming Commission formally posted its rules for sports betting March 20, starting a 60-day period during which the public can weigh in on the issue. When that period ends on May 20, the commission will review the public comments. Barring any subsequent changes to the regulations, the panel could approve sports betting at its next meeting, which hasn’t been scheduled yet.

Wagering on sports will become legal once the regulations are published in the New York State Register.

Sports betting only will be allowed at four casinos: Rivers in Schenectady, Del Lago in the Finger Lakes region, Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier and Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County.

Addabbo said he hopes the casinos will be taking bets on sports by the time college football season starts in late August, followed by the start of the NFL season.

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