New York State Exposed: State sports betting could be closer to reality

May 31, 2018 11:32 PM

In May, the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting- but when New York State would open the books was more of an open question.

"The legislative session this year is drawing to a close," said Governor Andrew Cuomo, "So I wouldn't expect any action this year." 


Cuomo was not alone in being skeptical of a state-wide sports betting solution being reached this year. Local lawmakers also seem content taking it slow. 

"What we want to do first is make sure we get it right," says Joseph Morelle, the NY  Assembly Majority Leader.

"In the sense that we want to ensure there is no chance of anyone gaming the system," he explains, "We want to make sure there's integrity." 

However, the 2013 law that created four state-licensed casinos leaves the door open for those- including Del Lago- to soon begin taking bets.

"The Supreme Court's decision appears to have triggered this provision," says Ron Ochrym, the Acting Executive Director of the New York State Gaming Commission.

"As a side note, commission staff have long been working on regulations that would effectuate sports gambling under the existing statutory language," he says.

Those regulations that the New York Gaming Commission's Executive Director says they have long been working are the final hurdle before bets can begin at Del Lago and the three other state-license casinos. 

"Staff anticipates being able to provide a draft for your review in the near term," says Ochrym.

The commission meets every two months, so does "near term" mean this summer? A spokesperson for the commission wouldn't elaborate on the comments. While the law doesn't include racinos like Finger Likes or Batavia Downs, Del Lago is certainly watching closely. 

"There are things that would have to be done by Del Lago," says Steven Greenberg of Del Lago, "But again, if and when the Gaming Commission moves forward on those regulations, Del Lago will work as expeditiously as possible." 

Regulations would have to have a public comment period, which will delay the process, but Greenberg says Del Lago is excited by movement toward being able to offer sports betting.

"This is Albany," says Greenberg, "Things in Albany don't always move the way that people in Rochester, or Buffalo, or Syracuse or Long Island think they should move, but we're watching the process and are eager to move forward." 

The Oneida Nation, which operates Turning Stone Casino east of Syracuse, says it plans to offer sports better in the "very near future." 

News10NBC will continue to keep a close eye on both the legislature and the state's gaming commission as sports betting gets closer to becoming a reality. 


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