Mobile Sports Betting in New York Under Consideration

Changes in legislation
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has proposed changes to New York state’s sports betting legislation.

30-second summary:

  • Assemblyman Gary Pretlow announces changes to sports betting legislation, including mobile gaming
  • Facilities such as Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium could offer sports betting in New York
  • Upstate casinos already approved for sports betting, with facilities awaiting final regulatory approval

Sports betting legislation in New York State may see a change if Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has his way. Pretlow has proposed A06113, a bill that will allow mobile sports betting in the state.

The bill could also open the door for in-person wagering at professional sports stadiums. Such facilities would include Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium.

Bill A06113

Pretlow is sponsoring A06113, a bill that would amend the current law for sports betting in New York. The bill would allow for individuals to bet on professional and collegiate sports events if they are 21 years of age or older. High school competitions would not be included in wagering options. Mobile wagering would be allowed. Sports betting would be allowed at casinos as well as designated wagering lounges.

Sports betting would be taxed at 8.5% of operators’ gross revenues. The tax revenues would be split among several causes, including treatments for problem gambling as well as education. Licensed casinos would also have to pay a royalty fee of 0.2% based on the amount wagered on events.

The bill would authorize consumers to make withdrawals as well as deposits from a mobile account. This could be done in-person at a casino that is licensed to offer services or an affiliated location. Mobile betting servers must be located at the facility offering wagering, based on the language of the bill.

Caution desired

Other lawmakers want to see the change proceed with caution.

Senator Joseph Addabbo said: “To do it right, I think we need to do it in a very methodical manner. I see sports betting being rolled out over a couple of years, to make sure we do it both legally and respecting the integrity of the sport, which is very important, and protecting the consumer. And then I would suggest we do roll it out to the stadiums and other venues at some point.”

Mobile wagering

An ongoing point of contention when it comes to sports betting in the state is mobile wagering. Governor Andrew Cuomo and other officials have stated that an amendment would be needed for the state constitution to allow mobile options.

If an amendment is needed, it could take over two years to complete. It would have to be approved by the Assembly and the Senate. Then, the amendment would have to be approved by the voters. As of right now, the soonest an amendment would reach a general election ballot would be 2021.

Currently, sports betting is approved for upstate casinos in New York. These facilities are now waiting for final regulatory approval by the Gaming Commission. Draft regulations must now be submitted and reviewed. Once submitted, there will be a 60-day public comment period that must take place before final approval.

Pretlow’s new bill was filed at the end of February, and is now set to be reviewed within the General Assembly. If the bill is passed into law, it would amend the current racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding laws in the state that allow sports betting.