August 14, 2018
Readers will recall from our previous blog that the New York State Legislature had before it a proposed bill that would have legalized sports betting on a statewide basis. Notwithstanding being on the precipice of establishing a legal framework for sports gambling in the nation’s biggest market, lawmakers failed to do so before the legislative session’s end. The State lawmakers’ long summer break, however, has not stopped the momentum behind the legalization effort from continuing.
What has transpired since New York’s legislative session ended?
A 2013 law enabling the construction of four (4) commercial casinos in upstate New York allowed those casinos to accept sports wagers when and if the federal prohibition against sports gambling was removed or otherwise overturned. Since the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling invalidating the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), New York State’s Gaming Commission has been working to create appropriate regulations that would allow those 4 casinos to offer sports gambling without any additional action from the Legislature. Among the regulations that the Gaming Commission is currently considering is a proposed tax rate of 8.5% and the so-called integrity fee by which the State would remit to the organized sports leagues a portion of the casinos’ sports betting revenue. While most observers confidently assumed that the regulations would be released in time to allow the casinos to set up operations before football season, no such announcement has been made despite the season’s imminent arrival. In the meantime, interested observers await action from the Gaming Commission to allow the 4 casinos to build out functioning sports books, and New York’s Legislature to allow for additional establishments to do so as well.
Changing Landscape for Sports Betting
While New Yorkers continue to wait for policymakers to finalize sports betting rules and regulations, which seems all but a foregone conclusion, New York’s neighboring states are not exhibiting the same hesitation. As we have written, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware have each formally legalized sports gambling this year following the decision to strike down PASPA. The uneven regulatory climate across the country will continue until federal legislation is enacted to put uniform sports betting rules of the road in place. Until such time, however, 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.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic or pursuing a venture in this area, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (212) 246-0900.
The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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