Assembly will consider daily fantasy sports in a hearing this week
Legal Sports Report

New York Senate Plans Hearing On ‘Potential Of Sports Betting’ In The State

NY Senate sports betting hearing
The New York Senate committee that deals with gaming issues will hold a hearing about sports betting later this month.

What we know so far about the NY sports betting hearing

The hearing will be in the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee “to discuss the potential of sports betting in New York State.” It will take place on Jan. 24.

The witnesses for the hearing are still to be announced.

The hearing comes in the committee chaired by Sen. John Bonacic, who has led the charge to legalize both daily fantasy sports and NY online poker. While a DFS bill became law in 2016, the Senate has twice voted to legalize online poker in recent years before the legislation stalled in the Assembly. Online poker is again up for possible legalization in 2018.

There are several sports betting bills that have been in play in the past in NY. It’s not clear if one of those pieces of legislation will be discussed or if a new one will surface from Bonacic.

It’s also not clear whether New York will be considering online sports betting, like its neighbor Pennsylvania authorized in the fall.

Any action in states outside of Nevada is pending the verdict in the US Supreme Court about the validity of the federal sports wagering ban. The NJ sports betting case will be decided this year.

The back story of NY sports betting

New York already legalized sports wagering at its commercial casinos with a 2013 law that followed a referendum of voters. However, sports betting is not authorized anywhere else in the state under current law. That would include tribal casinos, horse racing tracks and off-track betting (OTB) facilities.

Would New York would go ahead with sports wagering at the commercial casinos without a new law opening it up to the state’s tracks and OTBs. That’s an unknown variable, at this point.

Bonacic had previously issued this statement to Legal Sports Report about sports betting in the state:

“Racing and Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law Section 1367 is enough for New York to move forward with sports betting, should the Supreme Court throw out PASPA.  However, as you pointed out in your article, other entities are seeking the opportunity to offer it as well.  That will be the subject of much discussion in the next legislative session.”

Looking at DFS, too?

This week, the Assembly version of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee will look at the NY DFS law. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The hearing comes more than a year and a half since a law was enacted in the summer of 2016. More from a notice about the hearing:

Since that time, 15 operators have applied for and received temporary permits from the New York State Gaming Commission to operate interactive fantasy sports contests in New York State, pending the promulgation of permanent regulations.  … The purpose of this hearing is to examine the status of interactive fantasy sports in New York State and to evaluate its impact on the State Budget.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.