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New York Looking Forward to Sports Betting Legalisation

- November 13, 2017 By Oliver Young -

The Supreme Court is yet to reach its decision.

The Empire State might follow the footsteps of New Jersey and legalise sports betting.

There has been a lot of debate in New York, both in legislative circles and the general public, on how liberal the state laws regarding gambling should be. It has to be said that gambling liberalisation in New York has a fair share of supporters. In terms of legal solutions, New York is far ahead many other states. Namely, the state is considering the legalisation of online poker, on the grounds that poker is a game of skill and not a game of chance.

Moreover, last year, New York joined the states which have legalised daily fantasy sports. Citizens of the Empire State are free to register at DFS sites and participate in real money tournaments. Now, it appears that New York, or at least some of its lawmakers are looking forward to legalise sports betting.

New Jersey Is Currently Fighting a Legal Battle

New Jersey was the state that decide to challenge the legality of the PASPA and brought the law in front of the Supreme Court. Now, if the Supreme Court responds positively to New Jersey’s demand, it would mean that all states are free to pass their own legislation regarding sports betting. And if that happens, New York lawmakers are already considering their options and they might soon start devising specific legal strategies that will allow them to make sports betting possible without having to amend existing state laws.

Gary Pretlow, a member of the Assembly for Westchester who is also the chairman of the committee that handles issues regarding race betting and wagering said that legal experts are currently looking at the situation and that everybody is focused on finding a solution that would speed up the process, as otherwise it may take up to two years before sports betting is legalised.

New Jersey initially legalised sports betting and Governor Christie approved the bill which enabled NJ state casinos to start offer sports betting, but several professional sports leagues sued the state and brought the case to the Supreme Court.

If New Jersey gets the approval of the Court, it would also mean that the three New York casinos that aren’t owned by Native Americans will be able to offer sports betting in separate rooms. However, the position of all stakeholders is far from unanimous and proponents of sports betting legalisation can expect heavy opposition.

Racetracks Want Piece of the Action

Operators of race tracks will definitely be against, as they would certainly face revenue losses if casinos are permitted to offer sports betting services. The CEO of one race track went public to say that it would be a clear disadvantage for his company. Some people, including one Democratic Assemblyman feel that race tracks should also be permitted to offer sports betting, in order to gain more support for the motion.

At the moment, only Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware offer bookmaking as these states were permitted to do so by the 1992 law that effectively banned sports betting elsewhere. New York non-Indian casinos complain that they don’t earn as much as they thought they would, arguing that sports betting legalisation will definitely improve their financial situation and perhaps even create additional jobs.

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