New York Misses Shot At Regulating Sports Betting, Online Poker In 2018

Written By Katie Callahan on June 25, 2018

Stick a nail in the proverbial coffin for online poker and sports betting in New York in 2018. The 2018 legislative session is over.

The session ended with no passed legislation for either online poker or sports betting.

According to Online Poker Report, because 2018 was the year of sports betting in New York, online poker took to the sidelines. In 2016, the same scenario was true of online poker and daily fantasy sports.

Comes as small surprise

The NY Senate is seemingly receptive to online poker bills, having passed one in both 2016 and 2017. However, now that sports betting is being picked up in various states and increasing competition nearby, New York will have no choice but to approach the topic.

The good news is that sports betting and online poker could go hand-in-hand in a single piece of legislation.

When the General Assembly adjourned its last session of the year, active sports betting bills sat dormant, failing to reach a vote in either chamber, reported PlayNY.

But the impetus could be on New York to get a move on.

The Assembly is less than 10 votes from a majority. Even more than that, NY casinos pushed to broaden the 2013 act that authorized sports betting to include racetracks, off-track betting facilities, and tribal nations.

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Sports betting met with resistance

For every stride in sports betting this year, there was a setback, and it could possibly be attributed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who made it clear that the legislation would not happen in this calendar year because more information was needed.

“We’ll do an economic analysis and a legal analysis, but nothing’s going to happen this year because there’s literally just a number of days left in the legislative session and this would be a very big issue to tackle,” he said to capitol reporters in mid-May.

Sen. John Bonacic and Assm. Gary Pretlow both pushed their own bills in February and March, respectively, and then merged them to speed up the process.

The MLB and NBA largely came out against sports betting and recently had to change their tunes. But their lobbying was successful in New York with both bills including some sort of fee, whether integrity or royalty.

Bonacic’s bill had 0.25 percent for the leagues; Pretlow’s bill had the royalty fee at 0.20 percent.

Casinos and racetracks in other states continue to push for sports betting with good results, some of which are listed above as having the legislation approved.

This could come as good news for New York as legislators can now feel the pressure of other states. One extra pressure: MGM’s purchase of the Empire City Casino in Yonkers that may want to establish sports betting.

Keep a close eye on the city that never sleeps. Safe to say online poker and sports betting could keep legislators up at night in 2019.

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Katie Callahan

Katie Callahan is a freelance journalist, blogger and copywriter who covers everything from poker, business, education and politics to construction, startups and cybersecurity.

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