A new bill aimed at legalizing sports betting in New York was introduced Wednesday, adding to the number of states moving forward with legislation ahead of a potentially landmark decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
New York State Sen. John Bonacic on Wednesday introduced Senate Bill S7900, which would amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law to allow for sports betting, including mobile wagering, at casinos, racetracks and off-track betting parlors. Operators would only be allowed to move forward with sports betting if federal law changes.
The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 as part of the suit by the NCAA, NFL and other major sports leagues brought against New Jersey, which has been attempting to legalize sports betting for more than five years. A decision from the Supreme Court is expected sometime in the coming months, potentially as early as mid-March.
As the New Jersey case played out, the NBA and MLB pivoted their position on legalizing sports betting, and the leagues now are lobbying in several states to get stipulations put into any of the new bills.
"Our preference is a comprehensive federal approach rather than state-by-state regulation, but we will continue to work with all states seeking our input on a regulated framework that protects the integrity of our game and fairly compensates the NBA's teams and players," NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN.
The New York bill includes modified versions of the leagues' requests. The leagues would receive some data rights, and sports betting operators would remit to the New York State Gaming Commission a fee of up to .25 percent of the amount wagered, which will be used to reimburse sports governing bodies for expenses related to integrity operations. The NBA and MLB have been asking for a 1 percent integrity fee in other states.
"New York State has historically been behind the curve in dealing with developments in the gaming world, and it has been to our detriment," Sen. Bonacic said in a release. "If allowed, sports betting will be a revenue enhancer for education in New York. We have the chance to ensure our sports betting statute is fully developed and addresses the needs of the state and all stakeholders so we can hit the ground running if and when we can authorize and regulate sports betting."
New York joins more than a dozen states that have introduced sports betting legislation this year. Connecticut, Mississippi and Pennsylvania are among the states that already have put some forms of sports betting legislation in place. Last week, the West Virginia house and senate passed a sports bill that was sent to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that baseball would urge Justice to veto the bill, because it did not include some of the leagues' requests.
The NCAA, NFL and NHL have remained quiet on the issue as they await the Supreme Court ruling.