Live sports betting should begin within a month or two, and online sports betting is moving fitfully through the New York Legislature. Here’s where everything stands right now.
There will be, at least, some New York sports betting soon
First and foremost, it is important to establish that sports betting is definitely on its way in the Empire State. New York regulators published rules and regulations for land-based sports betting on June 10.
The rules will allow the four commercial casinos in New York to open land-based sportsbooks and accept wagers onsite. So, there will be sportsbooks at the following locations:
- del Lago Casino & Resort
- Resorts World Catskills
- Rivers Schenectady
- Tioga Downs
Unfortunately, these casinos are not necessarily near major population centers. The closest of these to New York City, for instance, is 90 miles northeast, where Resorts World Catskills stands.
Nevertheless, the debut of sports betting in the Empire State is now a practical question, rather than a legal or regulatory one. All signs point to a launch sometime in the summer of 2019.
The debut of sports betting at the four commercial casinos also opens the door for tribal casinos to do the same. Already, there are reports that the Oneida Indian Nation is far along in the construction process of a sportsbook at its Turning Stone Casino Resort.
Online New York sports betting is a trickier proposition
For a state with as much real estate as New York, online sports betting seems much more convenient. Certainly, it seems unlikely that denizens of the Big Apple will stop making the short, 6-mile trip into New Jersey in favor of the 90-mile jaunt to Resorts World Catskills.
However, the legalization of online sports betting in New York is proving to be a much pricklier issue than its land-based counterpart. A bill to legalize, S 17D, has already passed the state Senate but may run into problems in the state Assembly.
Chief among those problems is the resistance of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has long been opposed to online gambling expansion. Bill proponents, like Sen. Joseph Addabbo and Rep. Gary Pretlow, have to convince the speaker that approving the measure is the right course of action.
Were that not enough, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also criticized the notion of online gambling in months past. He has dismissed its benefits and cannot be relied upon for a quick affirmative vote.
This bill has several important provisions to it, however. Even without online sports betting, the bill also proposes allowing racetracks, off-track betting parlors and professional sports venues to partner with casinos.
Time is running out
If anything is to happen with this bill, it’s going to have to hurry. The New York legislative session ends on June 19.
The truth is that there may not be enough time to get a bill like this through. But, if the past year has taught anything, it’s never to count out the unexpected. Stay tuned.