New York sports gamblers could have another convenient way to place a wager if a bill introduced by Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow of Mount Vernon passes.
With mobile sports gambling slated to begin in New York sometime before the Super Bowl, Pretlow’s bill would allow sports betting kiosks at pro sports venues, horse racetracks, and OTBs through agreements with mobile sportsbook operators licensed in the state. They could also be placed at virtual lottery terminals.
The legislation, similar to a bill introduced by Sen. Joe Addabbo in the state Senate in November, would put kiosks at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, the Buffalo Bills’ Highmark Stadium, and at Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct racetracks, among other locales. Lawmakers are unlikely to take action on either bill until next year.
Pretlow and Addabbo are emerging as a powerful one-two combination in the quest to make sports wagering as easy as possible for New Yorkers. The lawmakers oversee the Standing Committees on Racing and Wagering in the New York Legislature and in April helped negotiate the legalization of mobile sports wagering in the state.
Kiosks at least a year away
The kiosks likely couldn’t be installed, at the earliest, until mobile sports betting already is up and running. If the bill passes into law, racetracks and the Aqueduct video slot facility would have to wait 12 months for the state to approve the agreements, and the kiosks at pro sports venues wouldn’t be installed until 20 months after approval of the bill.
New York licensed nine sportsbook operators to launch mobile betting in the state, which they’re expected to do before Super Bowl LVI in February. The licenses last 10 years, require a $25 million fee, and are subject to a 51% tax on gross gambling revenues, the highest such rate in the country. Retail sports betting is currently available in certain locations in upstate New York, but not in New York City.
Fixed-odds horse racing also allowed
Both Pretlow’s and Addabbo’s bills also allow sports betting operators to provide fixed odds on horse betting at their venues or, eventually, via mobile sports betting apps. Fixed-odds horse racing allows bettors to lock in odds prior to the race without having to worry about the price changing repeatedly, as it often does via parimutuel wagering.
The kiosks, meanwhile, would be regulated the same way retail and other mobile betting operators are regulated under state law.
According to Pretlow’s bill, the kiosks will be “connected via the Internet to the mobile sports wagering licensee’s server or other equipment used to accept mobile sports wagering.” It also stipulates that the kiosks can accept both account wagers and non-account cash wagers.
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