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NY lawmakers introduce bill to legalize mobile betting at tracks

New York sports betting hearing

After successfully pushing for mobile betting legislation in the Empire State, New York Senator Joseph Addabbo has filed a bill seeking to widen the scope of the market by allowing online sportsbooks to partner with selected affiliate locations.

The measure, S7536, paves the way for NY racetracks, professional sports stadiums or arenas, off-track betting parlors, and the VLT facility at Aqueduct Racetrack in Resorts World to team up with licensed mobile sports wagering operators for on-premise betting. By entering into an agreement with an online licensee, an affiliate location will be allowed to host self-service mobile sports betting kiosks that will be installed and run by their sportsbook partner.

The bill language also allows mobile sportsbooks to offer fixed odds on horse races through partnerships with horse racing content providers.

Nevertheless, the New York State Gaming Commission will be required to sign off on partnerships between affiliate locations and online licensees before racetracks and other venues can start accepting bets.

The bill is currently in committee stage after being referred to the Senate Rules Committee on Friday. However, the measure will not get a full Senate vote until the legislative session convenes in January next year.

How soon could NY racetracks launch sports betting?

Racetracks, professional sports venues, and OTB sites in the Empire State have a long way to go before they can participate in the regulated NY sports betting market.

Should the state legislature pass S7536, the act would not come into effect until 90 days after receiving the governor’s signature.

The language in the bill also establishes a timeline for the implementation of the law. For example, partnerships between racetracks and online sportsbook operators would not be approved until after 12 months of the bill becoming law.

Also, professional stadiums or sports arenas would have to wait until 20 months after the law is enacted before commencing operations.

State of play in NY betting industry

New York legalized retail sports betting at tribal and upstate casinos in January 2019, making it one of the first states to embrace the market after the annulment of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 by the US Supreme Court in May 2018.

The state started accepting legal sports wagers in July 2019 when Rivers Casino in Schenectady opened its BetRivers retail sportsbook. Tioga Downs in Nichols joined the market with its FanDuel Sportsbook shortly after, and it was later followed by del Lago Casino in Waterloo and Resorts World Catskills in Monticello. Del Lago and Resorts World Catskills sportsbook partners are DraftKings and Bet365, respectively.

The Seneca Nation of Indians, Oneida Indian Nation, and Akwesasne Mohawk Nation also operate physical sportsbooks at their establishments, but they are not regulated by the State Gaming Commission.

NY did not allow sports betting outside of the casinos until April this year, when the state legislature passed the FY 2022 budget bill that also legalized mobile sportsbooks. The state’s former governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed the bill into law on April 19, paving the way for the NYSGC to start accepting bids for online sportsbooks.

The winning bids were announced early this month, with the state regulator recommending nine applicants for mobile sports betting licenses. The nine operators are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, Bally Bet, BetRivers, PointsBet, Resorts World, and Kambi.

However, these companies still have several procedural steps to complete before they can be allowed to launch. The NYSGC predicts that the online sportsbooks will be ready to launch by mid-February 2022 to allow New Yorkers to bet on the Super Bowl game.

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