New York can begin legalizing and regulating online sports betting but the New York State Gambling Commission may first need an overhaul.
Regulator Needs An Overhaul
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state is finally ready to begin the process of legalizing and regulating online sports betting. However, the New York State Gambling Commission may first have to be fully overhauled.
Online betting and sports gambling are hot topics across the US, including in New York. EGambling was made legal in several US states last year and may soon be legalized in Missouri, Florida and Georgia, among others. Some have already started reaping the benefits.
However, the New York State Gambling Commission seems underprepared to effectively regulate these newer forms of gambling. A good example of the regulator’s poor approach is the 2016 Interactive Fantasy Sports Bill.
The bill called for the implementation of a mandatory registration system for fantasy sports betting operators. Four-and-a-half years have passed since the bill’s introduction, but the Commission has still not implemented such a system. Instead, it is relying on temporary permits for pre-existing DFS competitors.
The New York State Gambling Commission’s failure to create a healthy and transparent DFS market has had a number of serious consequences. Firstly, the current system has allowed big-name players such as FanDuel and DraftKings to fully and indefinitely monopolize the market. Secondly, the system prevents new players from even entering the market to begin with.
A Possible Explanation?
Defenders of the New York State Gambling Commission have proposed a number of theories in an attempt to explain its refusal to create a better licensing method for new market players.
One of the leading theories suggests the reason may be rooted in ongoing litigation that seeks to overturn the Interactive Fantasy Sports Bill. There have been two court rulings on the matter so far. The New York State Gambling Commission continues to appeal the decisions, but the bill remains in full effect as a matter of law.
This leaves two possible reasonings for the regulator’s refusal to fulfil the requirements listed in the Interactive Fantasy Sports Bill. The New York State Gambling Commission is either deliberately keeping new players out of the market, or it is simply understaffed and cannot implement the necessary changes.
Either option speaks ill of the commission’s ability to regulate and effectively license new operators in the larger online sports betting market. Mr. Cuomo will have to first address these glaring issues before moving on with the legalization of online sports betting.
The New York State Gambling Commission is simply not up to the task in its current state.