New York lawmakers are now carefully studying a proposal to allow sports betting in casinos, Off Track Betting facilities (OTBs) and racetracks after the electorate gave thumbs up to two amendments to the state constitution.
Quoting Democratic Westchester Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, The Albany Times-Union reported that New York legislators are looking for ways to regulate sports betting without going through the path of amendment lane.
The movement in New York also comes at a time when the U.S. Supreme Court took cognizance of New Jersey’s case questioning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which bans legalized sports wagering in all but a few grandfathered states.
New York are following closely the developments in New Jersey’s case since a win for the Garden State would benefit the state’s three new non-Indian casinos: Rivers in Schenectady, del Lago in Tyre, and Tioga Downs in Nichols.
The 2013 voter referendum that authorized these casinos included language that would permit them to add sports betting options should there be some change in federal law.
Of course, the state’s other gaming venues — OTBs, harness track racinos and racetracks — would also want to get in on the sports betting action, but this would require a separate referendum vote.
Queens Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin is sponsoring a new measure to allow these operators to offer sports betting through a constitutional amendment and he expects a positive Supreme Court vote “would certainly give us momentum to get it passed.”
If thing go smoothly, legislators estimate that the proposed amendment will be decided by voters in the third quarter of 2019.