New York has just days left in its session to deal with sports betting
Legal Sports Report

Last Gasp For NY Sports Betting? Senate, Assembly Bills Amended Yet Again

NY sports betting last gasp

In a sign that interests in the New York Senate are not giving up on sports betting legislation, the bill in that chamber was again altered, just days before lawmakers plan to adjourn.

And on Monday, the Assembly bill was amended to match it. That makes it look like lawmakers are not simply punting on the issue this year.

The latest on NY sports betting

S 7900 was amended again on Friday and recommitted to the Rules Committee. For a short time, that bill was different from A 11144 — the Assembly version of the bill.

The most notable difference in the new version of the bills is that the “royalty fee” payable to the sports leagues on which wagering will occur has been reduced to .20 percent of all wagers in the state. Previously, it had stood at a quarter of a percent.

Why the late changes in NY?

It’s not clear why the changes were made, but it’s easy to guess they were done in the hopes of gaining more support for the expansion of NY sports betting.

Last week, legislative efforts were being described as on “life support.” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said a vote was unlikely to occur in his chamber.

What needs to happen?

But it’s a new week, and things can change quickly in NY politics. Just ask those who saw the prospects of the legalization of daily fantasy sports rise and fall in the final days of the 2016 session.

If New York is going to see sports betting beyond its commercial casinos — or perhaps at all — time is growing short. Lawmakers are scheduled to head home at the close of business on Wednesday (which could be in the wee hours of the morning). Some observers expect little to get done this week.

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.
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