New York was too late in its bid to have a fully formed and legal sports betting law in place last week, but that has not precluded the possibility of limited sports wagering in the state. As previously reported by SBC Americas, state legislators could call on a 2013 law signed by governor Cuomo that might enable sportsbooks at four upstate casinos without the need for new legislation.
In what is being viewed as a short term move, the New York State Gaming Commission has agreed to work on ways of using the 2013 law that might enable the four casinos to take sporting wagers. However, it’s thought that the law only allows bettors to place outcome and in-play wagers in person and there is no mention of online or mobile betting.
Despite the apparent uncertainty among legislators in New York, there will be an overwhelming feeling that the state has missed a significant opportunity in failing to drag sports betting regulations over the finish line last week. Delaware, New Jersey and, most recently, Rhode Island now have legislation, with only the latter yet to take its first legal sports bet.
The 2013 law could offer a new commercial edge to the four upstate casinos, Del Lago, Rivers, Tioga Downs and Resorts World Catskills, which have endured difficult trading since they opened. Sports betting might not bring in the big dollars, but it is likely to increase footfall and spend in other areas of their respective businesses.