Since the time to pass a bill to allow sports gaming has expired in New York state, legislators and government agencies in Albany that would like for sportsbooks to become legal in the state are searching for ways to allow the new gaming enterprise.
Sports betting recently became a legal option when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the states can decide for themselves whether to allow sports gaming. New York already finds itself behind its neighbor, New Jersey. The Garden State brought the initial lawsuit against the government, and once the ruling was made, it immediately began sports gaming at its horse tracks and two Atlantic City casinos. In addition, a gambling company has already begun to make deals with New Jersey and New York to allow them to operate sportsbooks in both states.
The Betfair Deal
Betfair U.S. is the American wing of Paddy Power Betfair. The company, which originated in Ireland, has a presence in the United States because it operates sports betting locations in Nevada. The company has made a deal with both New Jersey and New York to allow sports betting.
The deal is with the man who owns a racetrack in New Jersey (Meadowlands) and Tioga Downs (New York), and it will offer sports betting at both racetracks. In addition, Betfair recently acquired the U.S. fantasy sports company, FanDuel, with the expectation of offering fantasy sports outlets, as well as sportsbook outlets, at both racetracks. It is expected the deal will close by the end of September. In addition, the players from FanDuel who are already interested in fantasy gaming will be able to then place bets on sports gaming through Betfair. It remains to be seen if Betfair will use the FanDuel brand or its own brand to offer sportsbooks.
The Problem for New York
The Meadowlands Racetrack is a few miles outside of New York City, and right next to MetLife Stadium, which is where the New York Giants and New York Jets play. This means that until New York allows sports gaming, New Jersey is receiving all the gaming revenue from sportsbooks. New Jersey has also made a move toward the legalization of online sportsbooks by the end of the year, which spells problems for the Empire State.While New York waffles on whether to allow sports gaming, New Jersey will continue to capitalize on the state’s indecision. This puts the Betfair deal at Tioga Racetrack in jeopardy as well.
A Possible Solution
In 2013, New York passed a bill that allowed many forms of gaming and did not explicitly outlaw sports gaming. For that reason, many legislators believe that New York could move ahead with sportsbooks at its four non-Native American casinos. While many legislators are in favor of this idea, it is facing opposition from Native American casinos, which also want to offer sports gaming.
In addition, many legal legislative experts believe that the four commercial casinos in New York, one of which is the Tioga track and casino, could allow sports gaming immediately. They already have a gaming license, and New York law currently allows for affiliated businesses to be licensed under an existing casino license.
If Tioga Downs is able to move ahead with sports gaming, the other three casinos may follow suit and may wait for the legislature and the courts to sort out the conflicts. Many New Yorkers fear that they will lose out on additional gaming revenue to their neighbor across the Hudson River if they do not act quickly to add sportsbooks to their gaming industry.
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