As the world of New York sports betting heads toward year’s end, with the hopes of mobile wagering going live sooner rather than later, one influential state senator would like to see the gaming landscape expand in 2022.
Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D – 15th District), chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, introduced Bill S7536 on Nov. 19. The bill seeks to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to wagers on certain horse racing events and authorizing agreements between a mobile sports wagering operator and an affiliate.
The Empire State’s providers and operators are: FanDuel NY, DraftKings NY, BetMGM NY, Bally Bet, Rush Street Interactive (parent company of BetRivers), Caesars, WynnBET NY, PointsBet and Resorts World.
Closer Look at Proposed Bill
What does this mean exactly?
The bill would enable the state’s thoroughbred racetracks, including Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, to work with approved mobile sports betting operators to offer fixed odds bets on horse races at their self-service kiosks, along with betting on sports games that day.
For example: A customer could walk up to a kiosk and bet the Jets or Giants, then place a fixed odds bet on the sixth race.
Fixed-odds wagers on horse racing would be allowed, provided that the mobile sports-betting operator had obtained permission from a pari-mutuel wagering franchise “that has the authority to provide the content of the horse racing event.”
How NY Sports Betting Would Benefit
“Allowing horse racing content and wagering to coexist within the mobile sports betting marketplace would grow the sport in New York, deepen the industry’s economic impact and attract new fans,” said Patrick McKenna, senior director of communications for the New York Racing Association. “It would expand consumer choice by placing premium horse racing content on the same mobile shelf as other professional sports, which would generate $1 billion or more in additional gaming revenue for New York State.
“Senator Addabbo recognizes the importance of horse racing as an economic engine for the state responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact. The legislation he has introduced presents an enormous opportunity for horse racing to share in the benefits of mobile sports betting. It would be a big win for New York and for the future of horse racing.”
Under New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) rules, thoroughbred racing account-wagering platforms will be able to use “shared wallets” with mobile sports betting operators to allow a customer to use the same bankroll to place sports and pari-mutuel racing bets.
“This bill starts the dialogue of expanding gaming within the state and utilizing the state’s thoroughbred racetracks to also allow horse racing content and wagering on sports betting kiosks,” Addabbo told NewYorkBets.com. “Gaming in New York has been very fragmented over the years and with all the strides being made on the sports betting front here in the state, it opens up the possibility of this to happen and to expand wagering even further.”
Addabbo also has spoken with J. Gary Pretlow (D - District 89), the state Assembly chairman on racing and wagering, and hopes he will introduce a bill there as well to coincide with the Senate introduction.
Currently, S7536 is in the state Senate Rule Committee and likely then goes to Addabbo and the Racing and Wagering Committee.
“Once the Executive Budget session starts in early January, my hope is we can get this bill in there and put it on the Senate Floor calendar for further discussion,” Addabbo said.
The budget sessions start the second week in January.
Mobile Sports Wagering Closer Than Ever
As far the progress of the recently-announced mobile sports betting operators and providers being live and operational in time for the NFL Playoffs, Addabbo likes what he is seeing.
“Look, you have to give a lot of credit to the NYSGC for expediting this quickly, about a month ahead of schedule,” Addabbo said. “This is not going to be a quick process as the process for servers to be in place is currently underway. But I have always said, I would love for this to go live in January for the playoffs.”
Much of the launch timeline of when providers and operators can go live depends upon when servers can be placed in New York’s four commercial upstate casinos (Rivers Casino in Schenectady, Del Lago Casino in Waterloo, Resorts World Catskills in Monticello and Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols).
Mobile sports bets need to be routed though one of those four casino properties to operate.
“I would like to see everyone launch and start at once, which gives everyone an even playing field and provides more options at once for the consumer,” said Addabbo, who will be making that recommendation to the NYSGC. “Everyone would benefit from that happening. I hope we can get this done in December, that would be wonderful, but I think a Jan. 1 launch is still viable.”
Until then, New Yorkers, hold all tickets.