Sports betting news comes with a week left in NY legislative session
Legal Sports Report

The NY Online Sports Betting Bill Has A Chance? Senate Sponsor Says Vote Likely Next Week

NY online sports betting vote 2019

New York Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. cleaned up his sports betting bill Tuesday to better define what sports facilities would be allowed to participate ahead of planned Senate passage of the legislation.

The lawmaker was originally targeting passage by the end of this week but now thinks next week is more likely.

The new language would allow for sports betting at all professional sports stadiums and arenas in New York with a seating capacity of more than 15,000.

A spokesperson for Addabbo tells Legal Sports Report that S 17C looks like it will get a vote in the full Senate this week. The bill is currently in the Finance Committee.

Tweaks on most recent NY sports betting amendment

Amendment B, introduced last week, allowed stadiums and arenas to partner with New York casinos to have sports betting kiosks connected back to the casino via the internet. The sports facilities would be allowed to offer these kiosks 20 months after the effective date of the law.

However, stadiums and arenas only would have been able to offer sports betting if there wasn’t already an affiliated racetrack, off-track betting parlor or video lottery terminal facility in the county. This would have excluded Citi Field, home of the Mets, and New Era Field, home of the Bills.

This was not the intention of the bill authors. Addabbo cleaned up the Senate amendment by deleting language that limited sport facilities to serve as affiliates only “in a county that does not have an affiliate.”

The new language simply states that “any professional sports stadium or arena in that county may serve as an affiliate.”

NY online sports betting still faces difficult road

Early Senate passage would be a nice first step for online sports betting legislation heading into the final days of the legislative session, which concludes June 19.

However, it’s comparable to walking up the first 10 floors of the Empire State Building. There are 92 floors left that will keep getting tougher, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is blocking off access to the elevator.

Cuomo repeated Tuesday that he does not think mobile sports wagering legalization will get done this year.

Assembly remains a question mark

Just to put the bill on Cuomo’s desk and make him take an official stance on the constitutionality of mobile wagering would be an accomplishment.

The Senate has been leading the cause for mobile wagering all session, including language in its budget proposal. Addabbo blamed the Assembly for failure to get sports betting into the budget.

In previous years, the New York Senate passed online poker legislation multiple times only to have it die in the Assembly.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has been amending A 6113 to match the Senate bill every step of the way, and is expected to again. But it remains to be seen if the Assembly is ready to move on mobile wagering.

Matthew Kredell
- Matthew started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News, where he covered the NFL, Kobe-Shaq three-peat, Pete Carroll’s USC football teams, USC basketball, pro tennis, Kings hockey and fulfilled his childhood dream of sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout. His reporting on efforts to legalize sports betting began in 2010, when Playboy Magazine flew him to Prague to hang out with online sportsbook pioneer Calvin Ayre and show how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting expansion of regulated sports betting across the country. A USC journalism alum, Matt also has written on a variety of topics for Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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