NY Senator Wants Sports Betting at Racetracks

New York sports betting is set to expand with the launch of mobile applications, which is still a pending process. To make the expansion even bigger, state senator Joseph Addabbo wants to include racetracks and certain other venues.

The Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering’s chair filed Senate Bill S7536 on Friday for January’s session. With this bill, Thoroughbred and Harness racetracks will be able to be hosts of mobile wagering operators. Mobile betting is also included in the 2022 budget of the state.

The NYSGC Handed Out Licenses to Eight Providers

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) provided eight sports wagering platform providers with licenses earlier this month. Thanks to that fact, nine operators will be able to offer residents mobile betting services across the state.

Addabbo had an interview with Casino.org on Thursday and he commented on the latest developments. He stated that the fact that New Yorkers are unable to wager via mobile applications while being able to wager on the fifth race in Saratoga is “ridiculous.” Combining these two is like a natural marriage, according to him and it would be rational thought.

With Addabbo’s bill, stadiums and professional sports arenas, as well as off-track betting parlors, would be able to be affiliates. Additionally, the VLT operator at Queens’ Aqueduct Racecourse could host kiosks.

Resorts World is the unnamed operator and, as the bill acknowledges, it could operate mobile betting in NY. For now, Yonkers’ Empire City Casino does not have the same privilege with the bill. Moreover, even though MGM Resorts International operates the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway, it doesn’t have the same opportunity with the bill. BetMGM by MGM will serve as a sports betting operator, though.

BetMGM and Resorts World Won’t Have Market Duopoly

Apart from Resorts World and BetMGM, the NYSGC approved sports betting operations for Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, FanDuel, Wynn Interactive, Bally BET, DraftKings and Rush Street Interactive. As state law suggests, these operators will have to work via platform providers whose servers are based at a casino resort in upstate New York.

This concept looks very similar to the one of the Seminole Tribe in Florida, which was approved earlier this year. The concept from the tribe is implementing pari-mutuel betting operators, but it is being challenged at a federal court.

Unlike sports betting, which is a fixed-game proposition, the story is a bit different with horse racing. Since the odds in this sport may fluctuate before the event begins, horse racing is a pari-mutuel betting game. Hence, the 10-1 shot that was bet in the post parade may go down to 5-1 if many bettors got on the horse before post time.

Sports Betting in the US Has Grown in the Past 3 Years

There are those that think that betting on sports should be a fixed-game proposition. According to proponents, many new people would be attracted to the sport and that is something that horse racing definitely needs.

Horsemen, on the other hand, disagree. Since their livelihood depends on their pari-mutuel takeout cut, they are concerned that lower fixed-odds will be the downfall to the traditional sports betting pools of the sport.

Earlier this year, New Jersey passed a law that set fixed-odds racing legal framework and it was approved by state officials this month. One thing that remains unknown is when the first racers will be available for betting fans.

Addabbo shared a few thoughts on the concept by saying that it could be possible if win, place and show bets. He also added that a conversation will be held on this topic as that is the starting point of every good legislation. There will be some concerns from OTBs and standardbreds, but overall, it will be a great dialogue. After all, Addabbo claims that the sports betting bill is trying to improve the horse racing industry.

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