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Perfection is like chasing the horizon, keep moving, says writer Neil Gaiman, and New York Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow seems to be taking that advice, the Empire State lawmaker recently talking to the media about the changes he plans to make to that state’s gambling law.
Tough to improve on a New York sports betting law that so far since January has produced the largest legal sports gambling monthly handle totaling almost $10 billion already in a state with plenty of professional sports teams to bet on, including the NFL’s New York Jets and Giants.
Not good enough, according to Assemb. Pretlow, who wants to keep moving towards perfecting that operation has joined the over thirty other states and Washington DC in setting up their own legal sports betting market that they can regulate and tax for their residents.
Pretlow has found three specific ways he thinks the New York sports betting market could be improved.
The first issue Pretlow has with the current sports betting legislation in New York is the 51% tax rate it charges sportsbooks on revenue, a number that is the highest in the industry right now.
That high rate could be limiting the choices of sportsbooks for bettors in terms of finding the best possible odds to bet with since that rate discourages many sportsbooks from operating in that market, as Pretlow explains why:
If a sportsbook, let’s say Caesars, for instance, gave you a $3,000 bonus on top of the $3,000 you deposited, then Caesars has to pay a 51% tax on the full $6,000. The way the law is written, it does not differentiate between bonus funds and actual funds. Everything extra they gave you goes to the state, and they lose more than 3K.
The solution, according to Pretlow, is to lower the tax rate considerably to something more reasonable like 37% or 38%, although that is still a high rate in that industry, which he thinks will also help bring a return to some of those enticing bonuses.
Customer service is another area in that market that could be improved, with Pretlow explaining how New Yorkers a tough time have got live help:
For example, bettors across the Hudson River in New Jersey can reach a customer service representative on the phone if they have an issue. At the same time, New Yorkers who wager with any book besides WynnBet must get answers to their questions via a chat room or e-mail.
But changing the law might not be as easy as Pretlow and NY bettors might wish.
Perfection won’t come easy in this case, since changing that sports betting law takes a lot of cooperation, with a majority needed in both state chambers to approve amendments of the state, while a two-thirds majority in both houses is needed to override a veto by the governor.
But Pretlow argues that the tough journey would be worth it for New York bettors and the beneficiaries of that tax revenue, saying:
More competition is beneficial to the consumer, and a lower tax rate would be attractive to other companies that would come in. I would not want to lower the money that is going to education just for increased profits for the sportsbooks.
Pretlow may keep moving towards perfection, but he’ll need plenty of help to reach it.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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