Sponsor Sen. John Bonacic advances bill out of his gaming committee
Legal Sports Report

New York Sports Betting Bill Takes A Quick First Step, But More Action Will Have To Wait

NY sports betting first step

A New York sports betting bill advanced out of a Senate committee on Tuesday morning, a quick advancement for legislation introduced just last week.

The bill will not be going anywhere else in the near future, however, based on comments from the bill’s sponsor.

What happened with the NY sports betting bill

The bill, which would legalize and regulate wagering in the state, came before the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee on Tuesday. There was no hearing or debate on any legislation; the meeting was simply meant to move bills on to their next committee stops. S 7900 moved to the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. John Bonacic sponsored the bill and also chairs the gaming committee, so its passage on Tuesday is hardly a surprise.

Here’s a statement from Bonacic:

“With today’s passage of S.7900 out of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, legalized sports betting is one step closer to becoming a reality in New York State. I thank my colleagues on the Committee for their support of this bill, and look forward to working with them and the many stakeholders, during the remainder of the legislative session to ensure that New York has the best piece of legislation possible should the Supreme Court strike down PASPA.”

PASPA is the federal ban on single-game wagering outside of Nevada, which is being challenged in the New Jersey sports betting case. The state has already legalized wagering at its commercial casinos, but wants to expand it to other commercial and tribal gaming facilities in the state.

Bonacic indicated during the brief meeting that an aide spent 150 hours crafting the bill for him.

Quick action for the Bonacic bill

The bill officially surfaced last Wednesday, although Legal Sports Report had reported on a draft previously.

There is no companion bill in the Assembly, although reports indicate Assemblymember Gary Pretlow — who chairs that chamber’s gaming committee — is working on his own. GamblingCompliance (paywall) reported that Pretlow is skeptical of some of the legislation, especially portions that convey power to pro sports leagues, in the form of data rights or an “integrity fee” that serves as a tax payable to leagues.

The Assembly will apparently need to act before we see more movement, however.

“We’re now going to wait on the Assembly, to have them weigh in,” Bonacic said on Tuesday.

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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.