Once again, lawmakers aim to expand New York gambling this time with the addition of Super Bowl Square pools.
Recently, New York Assemblymember Jarett Gandolfo introduced a pair of bills that would legalize square pools at bars and restaurants in the Empire State.
Unfortunately, the bills require an amendment to the state constitution. Thus, they are not expected to pass this year.
Super Bowl Squares casual game in the US
Super Bowl Squares are a casual betting game seen across the US. They are commonly played in office settings or with friends and family. Despite technically being illegal, bars and restaurants in New York run square pools during the Super Bowl. Super Bowl betting is the single biggest day for wagering in the US.
Speaking with a legal analyst for The Athletic, Gandolfo said:
“I don’t expect a vote this year. Next year, I am considering using an assembly procedure which can force a vote in the committee.”
The first bill Gandolfo has to pass is Bill A6890, which is the amendment to the state constitution. The bill paves the way for legalizing pool-selling that would allow “the legislature to authorize pool-selling without profit.”
The second bill, Bill A6880, legalizes pool-selling.
The language in the bill reads:
Allows bars and restaurants to organize and manage sports squares pools, provided that they do not take any profit from such pools.
Lawmakers referred A6890 to the judiciary on May 26, and A6880 currently resides in the Assembly’s Racing and Wagering Committee.
Potential conflict with sports betting?
Cracking down on pool-selling at every bar and restaurant in New York State might sound like a daunting task, mostly because it would be. However, those who see a rising conflict between causal square pools and New York sports betting might be mistaken.
“New York State brought in over $1 billion in sports betting revenue through the first year,” Gandolfo said.
“Football pools at local bars are not a threat to this revenue stream. In my opinion, the practice should be formally legalized – it’s harmless.”
Gandolfo also said another way to get around using legislation is to simply stop enforcing the ban on pool-selling.