Panel Suggests New York is Closing in on Limited Legalization of Sports Betting Statewide

According to a panel at the Cardozo Sports Law Symposium, New York continues to inch closer to joining neighboring states in legalizing sports betting. The panel, consisting of sports law professionals and state congressmen, discussed the current status of its legalization, impediments that continue to hinder its progress, and the benefits that could ultimately be capitalized upon.

As noted by Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., New York need look no further than its neighbors to the south to get a glimpse of the potential sports betting’s legalization could develop. Indeed, Addabbo reported that, since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May, New Jersey has acquired in excess of $212 million in gambling revenue. Incredibly, some New Jersey sportsbooks generate nearly 25 percent of their action from out-of-state players – including a significant portion from New York.

Were New York to remain stagnant in the sports betting arena, it would be at risk of surrounding itself with states that all legalize the activity – currently, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania allow sports betting in some form, with Massachusetts following closely behind with several bills in progress. Commenting specifically on the prospect of New Jersey permitting sports betting, Addabbo implored, “[B]ut this is New York. With respect to anybody from New Jersey out there, we’re going to do it better.”

Additionally, while a bill introduced by Addabbo was passed in January, there remains concerns regarding the scope of the eventual legalization in New York; while the state’s upstate casinos are actively preparing to open up their sportsbooks, an ongoing issue remains as to the legalization of mobile sports betting. To date, the state administration has vehemently argued that the proper interpretation of the New York constitution prohibits any form of mobile betting, thereby requiring a constitutional amendment.

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