Following the recent landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), New York State Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said that he expects to introduce a bill before the Assembly this week that would legalize sports gambling in the State. In order for the bill to become law, lawmakers must scramble to approve a proposal before the legislative session ends on June 20.

What are the key components of New York’s proposed sports gambling bill?

When New York permitted the construction of additional land-based casinos in 2013, it also presciently authorized those casinos to offer sports gambling if and when the federal PASPA ban was lifted by either Congress or the courts. Now that the prohibition has been removed, New York is advancing a bill that provides for a prospective legalized sports gambling market with the following provisions:

  • Permitting wagering on sporting events (other than high school sports) including, but not limited to, wagers that can be determined by the score or final outcome of the event and in-game wagering;
  • Permitting mobile sports wagering through platforms provided by licensed casinos pursuant to contracts with mobile vendors that register with the New York State Gaming Commission;
  • Limiting wagering to people that are 21 years of age or older;
  • Prohibitions on contest/prize advertisements that target minors or other prohibited bettors;
  • Taxes in the amount of 8.5% of licensed operators’ sports wagering gross annual revenue;
  • Royalty fees of .25% of the total amount wagered on sporting events, which would ultimately be remitted to the respective governing bodies of the various sports leagues on a pro-rata basis; and
  • Strict guidelines governing pay-outs of winning wagers and dispute resolution procedures for unpaid claims.

What does the Future Hold for Sports Gambling?

With this bill, New York is demonstrating the seriousness with which it is attempting to quickly legalize sports gambling in the State. The detailed proposed regulations also offer insight into how states may approach legalized and regulated sports gambling going forward, specifically with respect to allowing mobile wagering and allowing for casinos to delegate such mobile operations to state-approved vendors. It is anticipated that many states will follow course with their own unique sports gambling regulations until such time as federal intervention occurs. As such, it is critical that those interested in entering this space work closely with knowledgeable gaming lawyers to review all aspects of their prospective licensing applications and associated offerings.