Clock ticks down on New York Sports Betting Bill

By Jake Patel

With one day to go before lawmakers adjourn, New York's sports betting bill is looking more and more unlikely to pass.

Changes were made to the bill in a frantic scramble over the weekend but there it is still uncertainty about whether the amendments go far enough to win over a divided Assembly. One of the biggest issues that keeps cropping up is the issue of regulation. The bill would allow bets to be placed through mobile phone apps.

Time is an even bigger problem. The 2018 legislative session officially ends on Wednesday.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has already said there aren't enough days to get the work done.

“We’ll do an economic analysis, but nothing is going to happen this year because there is literally just a number of days left in the legislative session and this would be a very big issue to tackle," Governor Cuomo said in May.

But New York moves quickly and the bill is not dead just yet.

“If I was a betting person, and if we had sports betting in our state, I would say that we will pass the Senate version of the sports betting bill through finance, through the Senate, but im unsure about the Assembly,” said State Senator, Joseph Addabbo Jr, in an interview with City & State New York.

That doesnt mean that sports betting won't see the light of day in New York. The Oneida Indian Nation believe they have the authority under their own gaming regulations to add sports betting to their casinos.

“The Nation has made preparations to offer sports betting at venues throughout the Oneida reservation, and we will be putting those plans into operation in the near future,”  tribe spokesperson Joel Barkin said after the US Supreme Court decided to axe the federal ban on sports betting and let the states decide.

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr has also spoken on the issue of Native American gambling and how it factors into everything.

“They are a soverign nation, and they are certainly seperate and apart from what we do. They can do it. They have their own tribunal rules and regulations,  so they may actually do it before the rest of the state does it,” Addabbo reportedly said.

It is unclear whether New York's sports betting bill will be passed on Wednesday, but given enough time lawmakers may be able to tackle the regulatory issues and pass a new law in the future.

Meanwhile, the Oneida Indian Nation are considering their options. In March, the Nation revealed its 65,000-square-foot, smoke-free gaming facility in Bridgeport.  The Yellow Brick Road Casino opened in June of 2015.  Sports betting may well be the next stage in its expansion.

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