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NY Online Sports Betting Legislation Faces Uphill Battle

June 24, 2019

Sports gambling is coming to New York. The sports gambling bill is pushing through the New York legislature at a pretty quick pace. With New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo fully prepared to sign said legislation when it gets to his desk, it's a good bet that the state's residents will be able to bet on sports events by the beginning of the 2019 NFL season.

While bettors are surely ready to do what they have been longing to do for decades, gamble legally on sports event, the state's Congress will be glad to start pulling in tax revenues. These tax revenues are earmarked to help lower the state's pension deficit and perhaps help address issues related to the state's crumbling infrastructure. 

Online Gambling - The Next Step?

While there wasn't much push-back on the sports gambling legislation, online sports gambling proponents figure to face a bigger hill to climb. Setting aside potential issues related to the inability of sports gamblers to fund their accounts via wire transactions (credit/debit cards, bank wires and third-party wires like Western Union), there is plenty of opposition regarding any form of online gambling. 

The senate has already cleared the way for New York residents to have access to online and mobile sports gambling options. Getting through the House is a rather tenuous proposition at this time. 

The current online sports gambling bill stands as bill S 17D. The most immediate hurdle to getting the bill through the House and onto Governor Cuomo's desk is Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has long been opposed to any form of online gambling expansion. Online sports betting proponents will need to start by getting him on board and willing to present the bill to the rest of the House. Even if they are successful, the next barrier might be even more formidable.

Governor Cuomo has made clear he is not likely to sign said legislation. The best argument proponents could put forward comes from online sports gambling data accumulated for neighboring New Jersey where the state has just concluded a very successful year collecting revenues from online sports betting. By all indications, it would seem providing online and mobile access holds the key to maximizing tax revenues. 

The legislature is currently on break. When they get back to work later this summer, the fight for approval of the online sports betting legislation will likely get a lot of attention. At this point, there's no way to predict which way things may swing.


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