New York Set To Draft Sports Betting Guidelines – New York’s Gaming Commission may be finally set to sitting down and draft the guidelines that will open up the state for sports betting especially with four casino operators waiting in the sidelines.
However, the state’s OTBs, racinos and racetracks, and gaming tribes will probably be left out, but New York State Senator John Bonacic is set to rectify the oversight and will be announcing a legislative remedy to include all gaming stakeholders.
The drafting discussions have been taking a long time with betting sites and commercial casinos eager to gain a foothold in one of the country’s most lucrative gaming market.
First on the New York Gaming Commission’s agenda is allowing the entry of four new casino operators to offer sportsbooks. However, that agenda keeps taking the backseat even if the state’s constituents had already allowed sports betting in commercial casinos in a 2013 referendum.
The Commission’s acting Executive Director Ron Ochrym has been parroting the same statement since May, that the Gaming Commission’s staff is drafting the regulations for sports gambling in the state.
On why the priority is on the commercial casinos, analysts have pointed out that it was politically and legally more defensible since wagering was grandfathered into the 2013 legislation that allowed for sports betting in New York. The catch was that it be authorized as long as it is permitted by federal law.
When the US Supreme Court ruled and lifted the federal ban on sports wagering last May in an appeal brought by New Jersey, a lot of the states started drafting and enacting legislation for sports betting.
What is taking so long is the commission wrangling with the present laws to craft regulations for mobile wagering. This has always been a thorny issue for the commission since current state laws clearly prohibit sports betting except in two instances:
a. a brick and mortar sports betting lounge located in a casino and
b. only if the bettors are physically present in the sports gaming lounge.
But with the Orange Country Republican Bonacic openly advocating for an all-inclusive and comprehensive sports wagering bill, the probability of having a draft bill in place for both the Assembly and Senate is increasing. Included in the discussions are bringing sports betting to all the gaming facilities found in the state including OTBs, racinos and racetracks, and reservation casinos.
A long-time advocate for the regulated gaming industry, the state senator also contends that mobile wagering could bring in $500 million of annual state revenue which is based on a $10 billion sports gambling market.
However, a more conservative estimate from Foxwoods Resort Casinos put the figures as $340 million in the first year of a full rollout and $526 million after the fifth year.
If New York doesn’t open its door to mobile wagering, industry experts estimate that the expected revenue would be cut in half.
Ochrym, however, is setting a positive spin on the mobile wagering question: it’s not off the table, and the Gaming Commission is actively exploring the legal aspects of offering the service. Discussions with private stakeholders and state officials are still on-going including floating talks about amending the legislation