While nobody in New York is offering sports betting as of January 2019, it is legal in the Empire State.
New York legalized sports betting at its commercial casinos back in 2013. Once the federal ban was removed on May 14, 2018, New York sports betting became legal.
Since then, New York has begun to move on to licensing and regulation. Although a timeline is not currently known, it is expected that sports betting will be available in New York sometime in 2019.
Under the current law, the state’s four commerical casinos are the only ones eligible to apply for a sports betting license in the state.
- Del Lago Resort & Casino
- Tioga Downs Casino
- Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady
- Resorts World Catskills
During the next legislation in 2019, it is expected that the restriction to limit sports betting to the four upstate commercial casinos will be reconsidered. Possibly to expand sports betting to tribal casinos, race tracks, and off-track betting facilities.
Licensed sportsbooks will be able to take action on all professional sports, as well as collegiate events that do not involve an in-state team or venue. Any collegiate event taking place in the state of New York, such as NCAA March Madness, will not be available for betting in New York.
College teams such as Syracuse, University at Buffalo, or any other team located in the state of New York will not be available for betting. That includes home and away games.
On Monday, January 28, 2019, the New York State Gaming Commission gave preliminary approval to rules and regulations that would authorize sports betting at the four upstate casinos. The proposed rules and regulations will now enter a 60-day public comment period before the commission can give their final approval.
The proposal, which is 33 pages, contains guidelines for the licensing application process, system requirements, and wager types. The commission staff made it clear that the purpose of the rules is to “enable the four facilities to get running as soon as possible.”
There was also no inclusion of an integrity fee during Monday’s meeting. It is expected that the major sports leagues will be active during the 60-day comment period.
There will be no online or mobile betting in the near future either.
Although not included in these rules and regulations, tribal casinos in New York have legal reciprocity to offer any gambling games allowed at the state’s commercial casinos.
New York Sports Betting Timeline
The first time New York took a step towards legalizing sports betting was in 2009. Senator Eric Adams introduced the state’s first sports betting bill. S6061 was aimed at allowing horse tracks and off-track betting facilities to accept wagers on professional sporting events.
The bill eventually stalled in committee.
In 2011, Adams introduced S3708, a copy of his previous bill. The bill was supported by a piece of legislation in the lower chamber, A10464. Assemblyman David Weprin’s name was on this bill that featured the same language as Adam’s bill but also included wagering on collegiate events.
Weprin’s assembly bill also included a memo in support of the legislation, stating, “Legalizing professional sports betting in New York would be an opportunity to diminish a serious organized crime enterprise and provide critical funds for education.”
Senator Tony Avella followed suit an introduced a matching bill of his own S7401.
Neither of the bills advanced out of committee, however, all three were reintroduced in 2013.
In 2013, 57 percent of voters voted to allow for a gaming package to help stimulate the economy in the upstate region of New York with four new casinos. These casinos would be allowed to offer a wide range of gambling, including sports betting.
All four casinos were built within five years. Despite being legal in New York, federal law still prohibited the state from moving forward with its sports betting industry.
Adams, Weprin, and Avella all reintroduced their bills again in 2013. Once again they all failed to advance out of committee. Weprin and Avella had their bills reintroduced again in 2015, while Adams was not.
Weprin’s A3080 and Avella’s S940 were refiled in January 2015. At the same time, the state was debating daily fantasy sports legislation. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman lumped daily fantasy sports with sports betting, making it illegal under state law. Schneiderman then ordered DraftKings and FanDuel to cease operations in New York. In 2016 the state passed a fantasy sports law.
Both sports betting bills were returned to the Judiciary Committees in their respective chambers, where the once again stalled.
Towards the end of 2016, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow announced his intention to back sports betting legislation. Pretlow said, “I’m looking at challenging the feds on this, but I have more homework to do.”
Come 2017, lawmakers from both chambers introduced matching sports betting bills, sponsored by Weprin and Avella. Their bills move to extend sports betting to horse tracks and OTBs, as well as commercial casinos. The bills became known as A5438 and S1282.
In early 2018 the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee held a public hearing on sports betting. The hearing indicated that New York lawmakers were ready to move forward with state-wide legalization.
Bills in both the Assembly and Senate would have legalized sports betting throughout the state, including mobile and online wagering. In addition, the bills would include an integrity fee to the sports leagues, making New York the first state to give into the leagues demands.
With all four major sports leagues headquartered in New York, it makes sense for New York to become the first state to address the integrity fee.
Partnerships In Place
Although no sportsbooks are operational just yet, that hasn’t stopped casinos from making deals with companies to help control and operate their sportsbooks.
- Del Lago and DraftKings Sportsbook
- Tioga Downs and FanDuel Sportsbook
- Resorts World Catskills and bet365
- Rivers and Rush Street Interactive
The Oneida Indian Nation has a deal in place with Caesars Entertainment that would most likely take effect, should sports betting expand to the tribal casinos. The deal would bring sports betting to three upstate casinos, Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, and Point Place Casino.