Give Sports Bettors More Options, New York Senator Says

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Give Sports Bettors More Options, New York Senator Says
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State Sen. Joseph Addabbo says he’ll seek changes this year at the Legislature to give New York sports bettors more wagering options.

Currently, people betting on sports in New York can’t wager on some things allowed in other states. That includes bets on which player might win the NFL most valuable player award.

Addabbo wants to change that by adding to the legal sports betting offerings that already make New York a top gaming state. Last year, New York collected more than $861 million in tax revenue from mobile sports betting alone.

Addabbo, who chairs the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, said he wants to change the law to boost that number even more.

“I would love for that discussion to occur,” Addabbo, D-Queens, told “How do you make the current product better?”

The legislative session began Jan. 3 in Albany and is set to conclude June 6.   

Here’s What You Can’t Bet On In New York

Under current law, New York sports bettors are barred from options that exist elsewhere.

In New York, for instance, bettors cannot wager on individual futures awards, as in whether San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will win the NFL MVP award this year, according to Brad Maione, communications director, New York State Gaming Commission.

However, bettors across the state can put money on a team's potential result down the road. Two examples would be a bet on whether Duke University will win the 2024 men’s NCAA March Madness basketball tournament or whether the New York Yankees will win the 2024 World Series, Maione told 

And, to use two more examples, while bettors can wager on whether LeBron James will score the first basket during the Los Angeles Lakers next game, no one is allowed legally in New York to place a bet on whether the National Anthem will go under or over two minutes at the Super Bowl.

Addabbo said legislation to change things like this has merit.

“If you’re looking for growth, these are credible ideas,” he said.

Along these lines, Addabbo also is seeking to legalize iGaming statewide, telling New York is losing $1 billion a year to illegal sites and to neighboring states with legal iGaming.

No Sports Betting Tax Discussion Yet  

As Addabbo seeks these changes, the senator said he has not heard any discussion early this legislative session about other major sports betting issues that previously attracted attention.

For instance, Addabbo said he has heard nothing so far about lowering the 51% tax on online sportsbooks or adding other mobile operators to the current apps available for bettors statewide.

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Larry Henry

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