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New York racetracks taking initiative to legalize gambling

May 20, 2018 11:17 PM

New York racetracks are looking for signatures to petition to legalize sports gambling in the state.

Now that the Supreme Court has made sports betting legal across the country, lawmakers are taking a look at what it would mean in the empire state.

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Right now the state constitution only allows sports betting in the four upstate casinos in Seneca, Tioga and Schenectady counties as well as the Catskills. 

The legislature would have to change the constitution to make it legal at racino’s like Batavia Downs. Batavia Downs has circulated a petition to force a vote on the issue. Local lawmakers have voiced their opinions on the topic.

State assembly leader, Joe Morelle said, "What we want to do is first of all get it right in the sense that we want to ensure that there is no way that there is no chance of anybody gaming the system. We want to ensure it’s integrity. I've spoken with Major League Baseball I know the other sports are concerned as well to make sure it doesn't in anyway affect the sport.”

Morelle wants to take it slowly to make sure the legislature looks at this from every angle. His Republican colleague in the senate, Joe Robach doesn’t think lawmakers should decide on this.

“I would just like to see that approved by the voters of New York the way we’ve done other gaming. Regardless of my position I think that this is one that is important and people should speak on whether they want it or not. I always think that is the best way,” explained Greece Senator Joe Robach.  

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