Sports Betting Bill Unlikely to Pass In New York This Year
The state of New York is at risk of lagging behind one of its closest neighbors and competitors in a recently opened industry. After the Supreme Court repealed PASPA, the 1992 federal ban on sports betting, by ruling in favor of New Jersey against the NCAA the Garden State officially legalized and began offering sports betting last week.
”Significant Issues” May Not be Overcome
Pro gambling senators have been working on a bill of New York’s own to catch up, but it appears to be too little too late. Pushback from state government officials has led many believe that the bill will not be passed before the current senate session ends, and it likely won’t be a possibility until next year.
Democratic Senator Carl Heastie from the Bronx said that “significant issues” have been brought to the attention of the assembly regarding wagers made at casinos and on mobile devices. He was not optimistic about the bill's chances of being passed this year.
“I would say at this point, there isn’t enough support within the Democratic conference to forward on sports gambling. I don’t know if a week is enough. Sometimes that can be a lifetime. But the broad spectrum of concerns members raised, I don’t know if that can be resolved.”
Pretlow Still Hopeful for Big Week
The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, believes that despite all the naysaying and doubt he can still manage to generate enough support in a very short period of time. He showed he acknowledges the steep hill he has to climb, but he’s not giving up without a fight.
“I have 60 on board right now, but the Assembly Speaker wants me to have at least 76 so I’ve got to find 16 more bodies. I think I can do it. I think that there’s time to convince people sitting on the fence.”
Other less enthusiastic assembly members including Deborah Glick of Manhattan displayed their displeasure with the bill and the reasoning behind voting against it. Glick’s defense of her position is based mainly on a moral grounds and is similar to the purported stance of professional sports leagues.
“I think it will undermine the integrity of the games. I also believe that it will lead to greater gambling addiction. I don’t think that we should be chasing whatever happens across in New Jersey and have that be the rationale for New York making a bad decision about exposing more people to addictive gambling.”
Pretlow knows he’s up against a lot of opposition be them the “significant issues mentioned by Heastie or the stern disapproval on a more moral basis of representatives like Glick and even the speaker. But he believes sports betting is something the state needs and would be proud to offer.
“The speaker says he’s not a fan of gambling. And I know he isn’t and that’s fine, but that’s not a reason we should keep this from happening because there are millions of New Yorkers who are a fan of sports betting. I also think the governor might want to take credit for this but I don’t think we’re getting that much support [from the governor’s office].”
Last-Second Edits Could Come Through
Several changes to the bill, officially titled S7900, made today may be just enough to sway some detractors before the session closes on June 20. With such a tight window to work with, it’s going to be a struggle, but the changes could make a difference.
Unlike New Jersey’s legislation, the proposed New York bill includes an “integrity fee” as requested by professional sports leagues like the NBA and MLB. This is a concession that proponents and opponents of the bill don’t particularly care for as it’s an attempt to placate the leagues whether they need that or not.
One of the main changes is to lower the proposed integrity fee from 0.25% of each bet made to 0.20%. Additionally the bill would now require the leagues to provide proof that they are spending their received money on integrity protection and monitoring.
While these changes still might be giving he leagues more than their entitled to, the concept of checking to make sure that their money is legitimately being used for the purpose its supposedly being collected for is a solid concept that should and could be viewed by other states.
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