Senator Addabbo (c.) has said that he believes that legalizing sports betting, and enabling people to place wagers from their phones and other devices, has tremendous potential to create jobs and raise significant funding for education and other vital public programs.
By Michael V. Cusenza
While sports wagering has reportedly gotten the legal green light at four upstate New York casinos, placing bets via mobile platforms seems to still be stuck in neutral.
So, with just about a week left in the 2019 legislative session, State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon) recently decided to amend their initial measure to address concerns expressed about it in order to make sports betting across the Empire State, including smartphones and tablets, a more palatable proposition this year for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and members of the Assembly that are against the idea.
According to Addabbo, the amendments enable OTBs and New York Racing Association facilities to begin mobile sports betting via kiosk at the same time as the four upstate casinos already authorized to offer legal wagering. Video lottery terminals, racinos, and arenas would be phased in afterwards. In addition, the amendments strengthen protections to address problem gambling, particularly among individuals under the age of 30.
“I continue to believe that legalizing sports betting, and enabling people to place wagers from their phones and other devices, has tremendous potential to create jobs and raise significant funding for education and other vital public programs. This amended bill expands on where and how an individual can place a sports wager,” Addabbo said. “Together with Assemblymember Pretlow, I intend to work with all interested parties in bringing legal sports betting to New York. We can’t just sit back and watch New York’s illegal sports betting business flourish while money flows out of our state and into New Jersey.”