Supreme Court strikes down law banning sports gambling

May 14, 2018 - 12:18 pm

Brian Mazurowski

The Supreme Court has struck down a federal law that bars gambling on sports in most states, giving individual states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports.

How equipped is New York to get in on the act?

State Senate Bill S1282 would authorize betting on sports at any Casino, racetrack, or off-track betting facility. The bill currently sits in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

"Right now there is legislation pending in the Senate to allow legalized sports gambling in the state of New York, and I'm sure that there will be much discussion over the remaining weeks in the session on this issue," said State Senator Mike Ranzenhoffer. 

Even though there is a bill circulating, Ranzenhoffer called sports betting a relatively new issue because it's the Supreme Court ruling and not the Senate Bill that will bring the discussion to the forefront. 

Lobbying on the issue has been light in Albany, save for people representing racinos and off-track betting facilities looking to make sure they are included in any initial legislation.

“We are looking forward to working with New York State officials to enable legislation that will allow this dynamic opportunity to become a reality,” said President of Batavia Downs Gaming Henry Wojtaszek in a statement.

"I truly have not heard much in Albany," said State Assemblyman Angelo Morinello. 

"I'm sure that before the end of the session, this will be acted upon and discussed," Morinello said. "Whether it comes to the floor for a vote before the end of the session is unclear... It just seems that the decision will be made more towards the tax-revenue concept rather than what the people want regarding this issue."

The ruling reverses a 1992 law that barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game. One research firm estimated before the ruling that if the Supreme Court were to strike down the law, 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.
The court's decision came in a case from New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks in the state. One racetrack in New Jersey said it plans to take bets as soon as possible.

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