Restaurant association pushes lawmakers to expand sports betting to restaurants

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – On-premises sport gambling at restaurants may soon become a reality. The State Restaurant Association is urging lawmakers to expand gaming licenses to include restaurants, and sports bars.

News10NBC has the details on why this push is so important for the restaurant industry.

Ever since sports betting was legalized in New York State last year, Governor Kathy Hochul announced more than $900 million in taxes, and licensing fees has already been collected just from mobile sports betting alone.

On Monday, the Association met with state lawmakers to push for the licensing expansion. Kevin Dugan, Director of Government Affairs for the Association tells us on-site betting kiosks at restaurants will give bettors the opportunity to place their bets in cash, and get their winnings while on the spot. He gave lawmakers one example of a sports bar in Washington, D.C., that reported taking in over $1 million in gross gaming revenues during the entire 2022 NFL season. Dugan says giving restaurants an additional revenue stream is vital, as many of them are still struggling to survive after the pandemic hit.

“To bring more people in the door, and keep them there. Again you can have these bets sort of go on for you know, the entire length of games, and have people at the bar for two to three hours. Again you’re going to get more business, and that’s going to do well for the entire restaurant,” said Dugan.

As far as a time frame to expand this licensing, Dugan tells us he’s hoping it gets passed in this Legislative session, but it’s still too early to tell.