Will New York Add Award Futures To Sports Betting Menus?

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New York sports betting

State Sen. Joe Addabbo is planning to restart talks on a 2024 bill that would allow the New York sports betting market to include award wagers such as MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year

Talks on a similar New York sports betting measure did not gain any traction during last year’s legislation session. 

“We’re in discussions to possibly introduce a bill that would include prop bets,” Addabbo told LSR Thursday. “In an effort to improve an already successful mobile sports betting product, we’re always looking to improve it for New Yorkers. To look at what other states might offer, prop bets being one of them. And certainly I would like to have that kind of discussion in the budget.” 

Bolstering New York sports betting

While these types of award future wagers do not attract nearly as much handle as traditional betting markets, they are available in neighboring New Jersey

Without an option in their home state, New Yorkers are left to cross the border or make these type of wagers through illegal markets, meaning that additional money for potential tax revenue for education goes elsewhere. 

“It’s one of those scenarios where one neighboring state does it and we don’t,” Addabbo said. 

Hurdles exist with NY bill

There are hurdles, however, as previously examined by LSR. The award future prop bets must qualify under the definition of “sports wager” as per the state constitution. 

The state constitution defines a “sports wager” as follows:

wagering on sporting events or any portion thereof, or on the individual performance statistics of athletes participating in a sporting event, or combination of sporting events, by any system or method of wagering, including, but not limited to, in-person communication and electronic communication through internet websites accessed via a mobile device or computer, and mobile device applications; provided however that sports wagers shall include, but are not limited to, single-game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over-under bets, money line, pools, in-game wagering, in-play bets, proposition bets, and straight bets;

How will legal counsel interpret term?

Addabbo’s legal counsel will need to interpret this language. If it does not meet the definition, it would require a change in the state Constitution, which would take three years

New York currently has a ban on any wager that requires a vote. 

“There are too many bets you can’t make. I want to include those type of things,” Assemblyman Gary Pretlow told LSR last year.