New NY Sports Betting Bill Seeks To Establish Task Force To Study Expanded Wagering

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NY sports betting task force

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Yet another sports betting bill has surfaced in New York.  The goal of this one is not to legalize and regulate single-game wagering, but to study a possible expansion of gambling in the state.

Another NY sports betting bill?

A 10322 appeared in the NY Assembly on Tuesday from Clyde Vanel, who is a first-term assemblymember who also chairs the Subcommittee on Internet and New Technology.

The new effort comes as Vanel also looks to spearhead an effort to legalize online poker in New York.

The bill would set up a “Legislative task force on online sports betting.” More from the bill on what the task force would do:

Recommend policies and procedures to be promulgated in regulations by the New York state gaming commission and its divisions to ensure responsible online sports betting in all facilities licensed or enfranchised by such commission or divisions.

Recommend a structure by which all online sports betting regulations promulgated by the commission or its divisions shall be enforced, including but not limited to penalties for violations of regulatory standards and corrective action.

The bill would create a ten-person task force, largely picked by the legislature. One member would be from or appointed by the NY State Gaming Commission.

The deadline for the results of the task force’s findings would be the end of 2019, but they could be submitted sooner.

The backstory of NY sports betting

Legalization of sports betting would require the US Supreme Court to strike down the federal ban on wagering — PASPA — in the current New Jersey sports betting case. The state previously authorized sports wagering at the state’s commercial casinos, pending a change in federal law.

There are several active bills about New York sports betting in the statehouse, including a bill in the Senate that has already passed a committee vote.

It’s not clear what the fact that a bill that would just study sports betting — and not legalize it — means for the immediate prospects of expanding wagering in the state. The Senate bill could still proceed through that chamber and then onto the Assembly. That bill has elements of compromise between commercial gambling interests and the pro sports leagues — namely the NBA and Major League Baseball. Those two leagues have lobbied hard in states around the country for sports betting legislation favorable to them.

But the fact that there is not yet a companion bill in the Assembly — which is standard operating procedure in Albany — could be concerning for sports betting’s prospects in 2018. Assemblymember Gary Pretlow has said in the past that he would introduce his own bill, but that hasn’t happened yet.

In any event, a bill about a task force coming out of the Assembly would seemingly pump the brakes on the legislative process. Short of that, it could be a way to keep the issue moving forward if consensus can’t be reached on wagering.

If the state does not legalize wagering in the short term, it could fall behind neighbors New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which both have sports betting laws waiting to take effect. That could result in losing market share to the gaming industries in those states, even as NY deals with ailing commercial casinos.