The future of sports betting in New York is far from clear. Just a few short months ago, the entire sports betting community was dealt a major blow when the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Big 12 Conference passed legislation that will open up college football betting to amateur sports bettors from across the country. As New York is one of the most densely populated states in the country, some sports book officials fear that the move by the powerful NCAA and the powerful Big 12 Conference to open up college football betting may put their sportsbooks out of business. If this is the case, then where does that leave sports betting in New York?
The answer is not good. Although no one can foresee the future, the fact that there is legislation pending concerning college football betting makes New York sports betting more interesting than ever before. Legal sports betting has taken on an entirely new meaning because of the new laws. Not only will legalized sports betting in New York ultimately have a profound impact on how the four major North American professional sports conferences deal with wagering, the new model in the Empire State may well be the template for how other states open up sports betting.
One of the things that made the New York proposal different from other gambling bills is the amount of revenue that would be generated by the state’s gaming commission. By creating a sports betting authority, the state’s gaming commission was able to add another revenue stream. According to the New York Daily News, the proposed sports betting legislation by Assemblyman Richard Gottlieb (D Ernets-Union) would allow sports book operators to collect “unified” state taxes on sports books and wagering results for individuals and companies who use the cards to wager. In addition to this tax, the bill would also add a 3 percent surcharge to each transaction in order to raise revenue. These fees will likely be implemented in 2021 and will likely generate upwards of one billion dollars in revenue for the New York State gaming commission and the New York State Athletic Association.
However, there are a few important issues that are likely to arise in the future. According to a report from the New York Times, the proposed tax rate of twenty percent will likely create a revenue shortage that will lead to cuts to the state’s budget. The Gaming Commission estimated that approximately two hundred communities around New York City will experience a loss in income from casinos and poker halls as a result of the tax rate increase. As it stands currently, the New York State Gaming Commission can collect approximately sixteen five million dollars in gross gaming revenues from the regulated five thousand New York based casinos.
The New York State Athletic Association has threatened to take legal action against the State of New York if the proposed tax increases go into effect. The association is particularly angered at the proposed tax rate increase because the association currently receives over two billion dollars in annual state budget revenue. Over the past several years the association has worked hard to promote mobile gambling in New York State. In fact, New York State Governor David A. Paterson and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer have both said that they support the idea of legalized sports betting at state-owned land casinos. However, they have both indicated that they expect the matter to be resolved by the New York State Legislature.
The New York State Legislature also seems dead set on protecting the interests of its residents by ensuring that the tax rates do not go up. Despite the fact that the New York State Athletic Association is opposed to sports gambling at mobile sports wagering sites it seems that the Assembly might be willing to follow through on its threat. Majority Leader Dean moiety (D Monroe) has said that he will try to pass a bill that prevents the state from implementing any new taxes on sports gambling in New York City. The proposed bill would also require the New York State Comptroller to certify that there has been no increase in total tax revenue in New York City from September through June of this year. That certification could effectively put a final stop to new taxes on sports betting.
While the New York State legislature has so far refused to legalize mobile sports betting there have been attempts to introduce legislation that would legalize sports betting on statewide sites. Those efforts appear to have stalled out in committee. Even if the New York State Senate does introduce a bill soon it will most likely not become a law until after the primaries. Those primaries are slated to occur in April of 2021. No one really knows where the New York State primaries will end up.
There are also reports that the New York State Department of Financial Services has taken an official position that they do not support or believe in legalized sports betting on statewide sites in New York. Attorney General Andrew M. Kennedy has also publicly stated that he does not support legalizing sports betting on statewide online sites. The New York State Congress, which is controlled by Republicans, has also expressed its strong opposition to any form of legalized gambling in New York. All of these statements by New York State Attorneys General and elected officials leave many to wonder if the New York State Government may ultimately force the issue when the New York State Senate and House vote to override the Governor’s refusal to legalize sports betting on statewide gambling websites.