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After months of back and forth among state legislators, limited online sports betting is on the docket for possible approval in New York.
The New York Gaming Commission is scheduled to vote on a measure early next week that covers a strict proposed set of rules that would govern sports betting in the state.
Perhaps what is most surprising about the proposal is what is left out rather than what the bill contains.
If the rules pass, New Yorkers won’t be able to bet online using a mobile device or a home computer.
Bets will also be restricted to exclude any New York college team or major collegiate event that takes place in the state.
As the Gaming Commission votes on the limited access bill, legislators are ramping up their attempts at creating a bill that would allow betting in certain circumstances.
The proposed measure would still exclude New York college games and has under two weeks to pass before the current session ends.
Even if the legislators fail to come together on a bill, the Gaming Commission’s approval of their proposed rules would create legal sports betting in the state.
Betting would be legal for players that are present in sports betting lounges in the state’s four “full-service” casinos that have opened in upstate New York over the past 30 months.
Wagering would also become legal in the full-service casinos that are operated in New York by the Oneida, Seneca and Akwesasne Mohawk Indian nations.
In preparation for the possibility of approval, multiple casinos are in various stages of construction of their sports betting lounges.
This week, lawmakers in New York continued to find common ground on a bill that would pass the muster of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo of Queens and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow of Manhattan introduced new legislation that would permit sports betting via kiosks at numerous locations in the state.
Under their proposal, off-track betting sites and racetrack would be eligible for sports wagering kiosks that could take bets.
Some lawmakers worry that the Gaming Commission’s decision could release a pressure valve on the legislators that causes a delay in a comprehensive bill.
If the Gaming Commission approves betting on a limited scale, it will be months before betting opens at approved locations in the state.
In the past, Gov. Cuomo has openly stated that online sports betting does not rank highly in his list of important legislative priorities, but he did admit to the media that wagering was on the verge of approval.
Gov. Cuomo was featured on WAMC radio discussing the upcoming end of the legislative session. When the topic of sports betting was raised, the Governor left the door open on legalization.
“It’s possible,” Cuomo said to WAMC’s Alan Chartock.
“I think the time is short and the list is long, so I would counsel the legislative leaders to get the priorities done, because these priorities are not easy.”
With the deadline fast approaching to approving a measure, New York could be on the verge of opening the door to wide open legal sports betting in the state.
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