Mobile sports wagers could be coming to New York
Governor Cuomo’s assertion that a Constitutional amendment is needed is put to the test
A lot of New Yorkers want to see sports gambling make its way across the state. They want to be able to place wagers easily and quickly, which could be facilitated if state lawmakers legalized mobile sports gambling. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo, as well as a few anti-gambling backers, believe that only through a Constitutional amendment could legal sports gambling be allowed. Many legal analysts disagree, but Cuomo isn’t backing down. The debate continues as the Senate conducted a hearing on sports gambling this past Wednesday, and the possibility of legalized mobile sports bets continues to move forward.
Wednesday’s hearing attracting individuals from all types of sectors and backgrounds. Attorneys were present, lobbyists were clamoring to get in the door and even representatives from both the PGA and the NBA were on hand. It’s surprising that more sports leagues didn’t show up – New York is one of the few states that has said it would support a sports league “integrity fee.”
There are currently four casinos in New York – not owned by native Indians – that will begin offering sports gambling when (and if) the regulations are finalized and approved. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow mobile bets and, eventually, wagers at sports venues such as Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium. However, Cuomo is adamant that this could only be possible if the state’s voters approve a Constitutional amendment allowing the activity. He argues that online wagers are not an extension of sports gambling, which has already been approved, but many in the industry fail to follow the logic.
Lawyers have already said that mobile gambling does not require a Constitutional amendment. However, it appears that Cuomo is content cherry-picking the legal advice he wants to follow. Eight law firms confirm that no amendment is needed, and that should certainly be good enough Cuomo.