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When Will New York Address Online Gambling?

July 9, 2019

Before the New York state legislature recessed at the end of June for the remainder of the year, legislators were able to pass sports betting legislation that was sent to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The bill was signed and passed into law, which means bookmakers should be ready to start taking sports wagers from New York residents by the start of the 2019 NFL season.

The fate of any other meaningful gambling legislation met a quite different fate. As the legislature recessed, two gambling bills were left to die in committee. One bill was looking to legalize online and mobile sports betting while the other bill was looking to provide poker players and casino enthusiasts will access to online casino gambling sites.

After dying in committee, bill sponsors will have to introduce new legislation when the Congress reconvenes at the beginning of next year. For what it's worth, this is the third year that online poker legislation failed to make it through to the governor's desk. For sure, there will be new legislation next year despite the disappointment and frustration of proponents going into 2020.

At this point, there appears to be two primary obstacles standing in the way of online gamblers getting the access they clearly want. After seeing the results coming out of New Jersey related to all forms of online gambling, the tremendous revenues tell a very important story about what American gambler really want. There's no reason to believe New York gamblers are any different.

The first issue rests with what might be in the New York constitution. If provisions of said document might create litigation problems, the legislature would first have to write and approve an amendment allowing online gambling to the constitution. That would take time, which would further delay the ability to get any online legislation passed.

Assuming they could get that done, there's another problem. At this point, it doesn't appear Gov. Cuomo is convinced the state need to pass online gambling legislation. New Jersey's numbers aside, it would seem Cuomo and other online gambling opponents want to see more data before they would be willing to move forward.

For now, New York residents are going to be able to start betting on sports within the next month. That's a big win. Going forward, it appears online gambling is going to require a battle before becoming law. Much more will become evident in the early part of next year.


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