What's Going On With NY Sports Betting? Latest Report: Feb. 2019

By Rich Migliorisi, February 11th, 2019 New York Sports Betting
What's Going On With NY Sports Betting? Latest Report: Feb. 2019

When the New York State Gaming Commission gave the green light to a preliminary NY sports betting at the end of January, it became clear that mobile sports betting still had a long way to go in the state. The entire NY sports betting proposal was 33 pages long and still didn’t mention online NY sportsbook apps. Instead, the proposal focused on licensing, system requirements and wager types.

The good news is, the NYS Gaming Commission has made it a priority to allow the launch of the following NY sportsbooks as soon as possible:

We’ll know the fate of these NY casinos after the 60-day discussion period is done and the commission gives its final approval.

Turning Stone Sportsbook is also expected to launch in 2019 after partnering with Caesars. “The Lounge with Caesars Sports” at Turning Stone should open later this year once the National Indian Gaming Commission and the New York State Gaming Commission complete the proper approval process. The Oneida Indian Nation owns Turning Stone and has two other casinos, Yellow Brick Road Casino and Point Place Casino. The expectation is that Yellow Brick Road Sportsbook and Points Place Sportsbook will likely be built in partnership with Caesars. 

Why Wasn’t Online NY Sports Betting On The January Proposal?

New York’s friction with the idea of sports betting going mobile dates back six years when a range of gambling activities were authorized under the 2013 legislature. The majority of voters agreed on allowing the four active NY casinos to accept wagers on sports events, but that’s pretty much where the legislation stopped. Racetracks, betting parlors and, you guessed it, NY mobile betting apps were kept off the list.

Since the newly proposed bill only covers activities covered by the 2013 legislature, mobile NY sports betting didn’t make the cut this January either. The sheer concept of mobile sports betting apps raises a number of issues, none of which current state legislation is prepared to solve.

There’s the technological issue of user tracking to confirm the age, identity and location of the bettor. Then, there’s the legislative issue of keeping other types of online gambling illegal, while permitting online sports betting. All this and more needs to be sorted out by state regulators before mobile NY sports betting can move onto the next step.

Mobile NY Sports Betting Task Force

Now that we understand why mobile NY sports betting needs all the help it can get, let’s take a look at who might answer the rescue call. There’s hardly any chance it could be Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his budget director, both of whom have already made it clear they believe only a constitutional amendment could legalize online NY sports betting, and that could be a three-year process.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, however, an Assistant Speaker with 25 years in the Assembly on his resume has sponsored a bill to put together 13 Assembly members into a kind of task force.

The members would hold four public hearings on the matter of mobile sports betting in New York and help weigh its pros and cons. While the bill did meet some support in the Assembly, some members brushed it aside as a futile effort to analyze something that is already well-known in New Jersey.

The leader of this opposition is Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, the chairman for the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee. Though Pretlow is for NY mobile sports betting as soon as possible, Pretlow claims neither he nor his committee, where this task force bill would end up, need any further evidence on mobile sports betting.

Pretlow has, however, admitted that if Gov. Cuomo doesn’t budge on his position regarding a constitutional amendment, he is ready to work with the task force to make steps in any other direction.

DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook Still Ready To Launch in NY

DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook have both made efforts to push for the legalization for NY mobile sports betting since the 2013 state law calls for players to be “physically present” in the casinos.

DraftKings struck a deal with Del Lago Resort & Casino and will create an on-site sportsbook once NY sports betting is passed. The assumption is DK will also have online sports betting if and when that happens in New York.

As for FanDuel, there connect in is through Tioga Downs Casino, which has a partnership in place with Paddy Power Betfair, who now owns FanDuel. Again, this sets up FanDuel Sportsbook for an on-site sports betting facility at Tioga Downs and gives them an inside track to online sports betting.

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