June 7, 2019 3 min read


New York Pushes for Mobile Sports Betting at Madison Square Garden

  • New sports betting bill to add mobile betting in NY
  • OBTs and NYRAs to get a significant advantage
  • Legislation still needs to post

New York could be closer than before to a sports betting bill that would allow mobile betting on the territory of the Empire State.

New York Embraces Changes to Proposed Sports Betting Bills

New York hasn’t had much luck in pushing for a legalized gaming industry, whether that is a sports wager or a poker hand – until now. Senate Bill 17 was amended by its author, Senator Joseph Addabbo to introduce a few ambitious and thoughtful changes. The bill was accompanied by the draft bill proposed by member of the NY Assembly Gary Pretlow.

The revised legislation now permits spots betting on the territory of certain sporting arenas as well as mobile betting. Pretlow had his A6113 up for voting on Thursday, June 6, extending the potential reach of sports betting operations in the Empire State should any of the bills actually pass into law.

Each bill grants off-track betting (OTB) locations and New York Racing Association (NYRA) venues with considerable privileges to offer mobile sports betting to interested parties as long as the betting takes place at licensed sales points,such as kiosks.

NY Sports Betting at a Glance

Submitted in January, 2019, the bills have promised fair conditions for both businesses and the state, taking into consideration customer protection practices:

  • License fee of $12m
  • 8.5% tax on all land-based sports betting
  • 12% for mobile revenue

NY lawmakers must understand that the tax applies only on the winnings of casinos and betting arenas rather than the actual sports handle. Madison Square Garden Arena and the Yankees Stadium are among the properties to get the go-ahead and host sports betting.

NYRA and OTB Are Given Significantly Heads-up

Should the bills be approved, OTB and NYRA will have a significant advantages over traditional betting facilities, such as iLottery gaming spots and racinos. OTBs and NYRAs will be given a 12-month head start insofar as mobile betting is concerned.

Now, the bill has been expanded to include sports arenas, which shows Pretlow and Addabbo’s prescience insofar tough legislation is concerned. Both the Senator and Assemblyman have been long-time proponents of sports betting operations and year after year, any attempt to legalize the activity has faltered.

Pretlow and Addabbo’s current legal framework isn’t ideal, but it promises to break the bottleneck that has dominated NY sports betting legislation for years. Commenting on the news, the Senator had this to say:

“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 also explained that the addition of mobile betting would help NY capture illegal gambling revenue and keep it within the state. While this is true in theory, mobile sports betting is popular among fans because it allows them to bet from pretty much anywhere whereas NY’s laws would require people to be physically present.


Simon is a freelance writer who specializes in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.

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