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The New York State Gaming Commission is finally ready to talk about how it intends to regulate sports betting.
An agenda for the agency’s upcoming meeting, posted on Thursday, at long last includes a discussion of proposed rules for the industry. The fall of PASPA more than eight months ago triggered an existing NY sports betting statute, but this meeting will mark the first measurable step toward implementation.
Monday’s proceedings in Manhattan will be open to the public and streamed live on the NYS Gaming website.
The Empire State is one of about 20 with sports betting legislation on file this year, but a new law is not a necessity. Voters approved in-person wagering at the four commercial casinos upstate via referendum way back in 2013.
While the PASPA repeal removed the last legal hurdles, the state failed to take advantage of its early-bird opportunity. The commission sat on its hands as seven other states joined Nevada in offering state-regulated sports gambling last year.
The New Jersey sports betting market, most notably, can attribute a large chunk of its revenue to bettors from across the border.
In his annual address last week, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged policymakers to move forward with authorization and regulation for those casinos. Rumor had it the governor’s budget would even include revenue from sports betting, a suspicion which did not materialize.
It appears the commission was listening, though, as it now prepares to present draft rules in the wake of that gubernatorial nudge.
Monday’s meeting should provide more clarity on the specifics, but we already know the gist of how NY sports betting will operate.
Per statute, licensed sportsbooks will be able to take action on all professional sports, plus collegiate events not involving an in-state team or venue. Under that restriction, for example, NCAA March Madness games held at Madison Square Garden would be off the board. The same goes for Syracuse games at the Carrier Dome — plus away games elsewhere.
There will be no online/mobile betting in the short term, either.
The 2013 law only authorizes retail sports betting, and there is some debate about whether internet wagering fits within the state constitution. Most seem to think that additional expansion would require another referendum, but at least one lawmaker intends to press the issue.
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, the lead actor for NY gaming legislation in the lower chamber, recently told Legal Sports Report that he plans to file a mobile sports betting bill despite the likelihood of a veto.
Regardless of that effort, existing law and forthcoming rules will make retail sports betting available to all commercial and tribal casino operators in the state.