The New York Gaming Commission is developing regulations to allow the state’s four new commercial casinos to operate sports books.
The action, widely expected when the legislature adjourned for the year in June before Senate and Assembly leaders could wrangle enough votes for a comprehensive bill to bring sports wagering to all the state’s gaming facilities, including tribal casinos, racetracks and racinos and OTBs, and it probably means, at least for now, that it won’t be available either on remote platforms, where experts believe the real money lies.
The belief is that regulating the commercial casinos is an easier sell legally and politically because betting was grandfathered in to the 2013 legislation that authorized them—that is, as long as this posed no conflicts with federal law, and that possibility was removed in May when a longstanding federal ban was rescinded by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on an appeal brought by New Jersey.
State Senator John Bonacic, a long-time advocate, believes a full statewide industry with mobile betting capability could generate $500 million in revenue a year on $10 billion in wagers.
On a positive note, Gaming Commission acting-Executive Director Ron Ochre has said the mobile option is not entirely off the table as his staff continue to explore the legalities as part of ongoing discussions with state officials and private-sector stakeholders.