The New York State Gaming Commission has formally published sports betting rules and regulations to allow a limited number of upstate casinos to accept wagers on sporting events. This follows a publication earlier in the year of proposed New York sports betting regulations, and is largely consistent with those prior proposals.

What does the Commission’s publication mean for New York sports betting?

As readers of this blog will recall, New York previously passed a law to allow four newly constructed upstate casinos to accept sports wagers in the event that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”) were stricken or repealed, which ultimately occurred last year with the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling. This week’s formal issuance of sports betting rules triggers a 60-day period during which the public can file comments on the rules. After this 60-day period expires, the four upstate casinos are expected to be free to accept sports wagers. This will put New York on pace to accepting the first sports betting wagers around Memorial Day 2019.

Generally, the regulations provide for detailed rules governing how the casinos must present proposed offerings for Commission approval, maintain records, and restrict/monitor the activity of bettors who place sports wagers with them.

It is widely-anticipated that this represents merely a first step in New York’s path to legalized sports betting, with other locations that will be permitted to offer sports wagering in the future and eventually mobile betting. However, various lawmakers, including Governor Cuomo, are of the opinion that these expanded offerings likely require amendment to the State Constitution.

Rapidly-Evolving Sports Betting Landscape

New York appears on the precipice of joining neighboring states, such New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware, in permitting its citizens to engage in legal sports betting. As individual states advance on their own legalization timelines, an uneven regulatory regime will continue to exist across the country until federal legislation is enacted. Until such time, given the rapidly-evolving regulatory climate, 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.