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New York Sports Betting Bill Needs Boost

$100 bills over sports logos

As of late, sports betting has been a failure in New York. Blame has been tossed around between the involved parties, but amidst the squabble still lies an unfinished sports betting bill. There are those who are optimistic sports gambling will still happen sometime in 2018, however, it will take some major resurgence within the state legislation.

NY Assemblyman Gary Pretlow is throwing blame at Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Indian tribes for not being able to get on the same page about regulated betting. Pretlow has been the champion for NY sports betting for a while now. He is also the person responsible for getting legal online casino and poker gambling. For Pretlow, legalizing sports betting is the next step towards gambling overhaul that he feels will benefit the local residents and government. As the Chair of the Racing & Wagering Committee, Pretlow has the authority to keep the topic within active consideration, it is just a matter of getting his fellow constituents on board.

The Indian tribes have a lot of power when it comes to the progress of this bill. So far, they have derailed any sort of momentum towards legalization on the grounds that the proposed sports betting bill violates their state-tribal gambling compacts. These compacts are what give tribes exclusive authority over certain gambling realms. Their main concern is over whether people will be able to place a wager using another tribal casino’s sports betting app. It makes sense why these tribal casinos want exclusive domain over which apps their patrons are using, but is it really worth holding up sports betting legalization?

The story is the same within the state Senate. Senator John Bonacic has been trying to get a bill through, but the tribes’ reaction to the bill has kept anything from happening. Pretlow titled it a “knee-jerk reaction,” and sees it as a bit excessive in the grand scheme of things. Pretlow blames Gov. Cuomo for not getting involved earlier. If he were to come out in support of sports gambling after the PASPA case In the Supreme Court, something would have likely happened sooner. Pretlow seems to think that Cuomo could include sports betting in the next budget and take the credit for introducing it. Apparently, that has happened before. In this case, NY sports betting would open sometime later this year.

Interestingly enough, Pretlow is a pro-integrity fee and includes it in his vision for regulated betting. The way he sees it, the leagues are entitled to some compensation given they will accrue additional expenses. He dialed the percentage back to 0.2 of the gross handle, and other states may soon model New York’s figure.

As far as a timeline with New York sports betting, it is hard to say. The tribes need to figure out what they want out of this bill because sooner or later it will pass. Pretlow is optimistic that sports betting will make its debut sometime this year, but an early start in 2019 seems more realistic.