NY legislature has until June 20 to pass sports betting, online poker legislation
Legal Sports Report

Changes Could Be On The Way For New York Sports Betting Bill

editing NY sports betting bill

The clock is starting to run down if we are going to see a New York sports betting bill make it to the finish line.

So it’s not shocking that we’re seeing some chatter in mid-May, with the legislature set to adjourn in a little over a month.

The latest on New York sports betting

Lawmakers in the Senate are apparently already working to change a bill introduced earlier this year that made it through one committee stop.

This came down on Friday afternoon from GamblingCompliance.

A spokesperson for Sen. John Bonacic — the sponsor of the legislation — told Legal Sports Report “there are currently discussions on potential amendments to the bill,” but that no final set of amendments exists as of yet.

 S 7900 is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.

The bill appears to widely legalize sports wagering at gaming facilities in the state, including via horse racing tracks, off-track betting parlors and tribal casinos. The state already legalized sports gambling at four commercial casinos, although it’s not clear if that would be implemented immediately if the US Supreme Court sports betting case strikes down the federal ban.

Where is the Assembly sports betting bill?

Getting too bogged down in the details of the floated Senate version of the bill might be a fool’s errand, unless it is going to mesh with what comes out of the Assembly. Still, killing the in-person requirement for registration would be a positive development, as that will help NY’s prospective online sports betting industry get off the ground more quickly.

We’re still waiting to see a promised bill from Assemblymember Gary Pretlow, but it has not yet surfaced. Pretlow chairs his chamber’s gaming committee, like Bonacic does on the Senate side.

When it comes to gaming issues, it seems like a bill needs his stamp of approval to move. That’s been the case for online poker, which has twice passed the NY Senate but has not gained much traction in the Assembly.

There’s also been talk of sports betting and NY online poker being handled in tandem in the state.

What’s next?

There’s still plenty of time for New York to pass legislation, as the session is slated to end June 20.

As we saw with a daily fantasy sports law in 2016, bills can be and often are passed at the last minute.

So, for now, we’ll have to trust that a lot of political sausage is being made behind closed doors.

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.