- The NY legislature has just two days to pass mobile sports betting legislation in 2019.
- SB 17 and AB 6113 have wide support, but it may not be enough.
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) believes that mobile betting must go through a voter referendum.
NEW YORK – The New York legislature has about 48 hours to come to an agreement on expanded sports betting for the year. Barring that, mobile sports betting and expanded brick-and-mortar betting will have to wait until 2020 at the earliest.
Currently, of the seven wagering bills presented this session, two have been passed out of their initial committees and have real chances of passage. These are Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Jr.’s SB 17 and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow’s AB 6113.
Last week, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) approved the state’s tentative sports betting regulations. These form the regulatory framework for New York’s legal betting industry.
However, the pastime is currently limited to New York’s four upstate commercial casino venues.
Addabbo’s and Pretlow’s bills would change that, legalizing sports wagering via a variety of different avenues. Such avenues include mobile sites and apps, tribal casinos, racetracks, off-track betting sites, and even professional sports stadiums.
While the bills face a time-crunch in the statehouse, it’s not a sure thing they’d be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) even if passed. This is true whether or not the bills come across his desk supported by a seemingly veto-proof majority.
A veto override would require polling after the current session adjourns. This can often be a difficult, tenuous process.
Cuomo’s administration is already on record stating that any mobile betting allowance or extra brick-and-mortar rollout constitutes a gambling expansion.
Such a gambling expansion, argues the governor’s office, would require a voter referendum.
In that case, the earliest that New York bettors could see statewide online sportsbooks legalized would be November 2020, with a 2021 launch.
At the very least, fans of New York sports betting can take solace in the fact that they’ll be able to wager on sports at the four upstate venues. These sites’ physical sportsbooks are already under construction and should be open in time for the start of the NFL season in September.