“Permitting this type of wagering holds great potential for creating jobs and raising significant revenues for education, while also credibly addressing the issue of compulsive gambling,” Sen. Addabbo said.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Supporters of legalizing mobile sports betting in the Empire State experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat all in the same week as the measure seemed to stall in the Assembly days after overwhelmingly passing the State Senate.
With the 2019 Albany legislative session set to come to a close at midnight Wednesday, all signs pointed to the bill hitting a brick wall in the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes.
“I think that one is going to wait for another day,” WNYC state government and politics reporter Fred Mogul posited on “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Monday. “It’s not likely to pass this session.”
The thrill of victory arrived early in the week in the Senate with a 57-5 vote in favor of legalization. The measure provides for the regulation of sports betting and mobile sports wagering; defines terms; implements a tax equivalent to 8.5 percent of sports wagering gross revenue; requires reporting; and provides for civil penalties for violations.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering who introduced the bill to implement sports betting via smartphones and tablets, said on Monday that he was “delighted” that the Legislature had taken such an “important step” toward legalization.
“Permitting this type of wagering holds great potential for creating jobs and raising significant revenues for education, while also credibly addressing the issue of compulsive gambling,” Addabbo added. “The NYS Gaming Association recently adopted regulations to implement in-person sports betting at four upstate casinos, as previously authorized, and adding mobile wagering to the mix will go far in capturing revenues that might otherwise continue to flow across the border to New Jersey. In addition, legal mobile sports betting will put a serious dent in the existing underground and illegal wagering industry.
“Experiences in other states have demonstrated that implementing sports betting without a mobile component leaves those states where people cannot wager with their phones or other devices at a competitive disadvantage,” the senator continued. “Ultimately, I hope the governor will choose to embrace the great benefits that sports betting, including the mobile component, will bring to New York in terms of employment, additional funding for education, addressing illegal gambling, and ensuring our competitiveness with other states.”