A bill that would expand sports gambling options in New York cleared a Senate committee on Monday, but the bill’s sponsor expects changes to the legislation before it’s signed into law.
The bill would permit casinos licensed in upstate markets to create online platforms for sports betting. It was approved by the Senate Racing and Wagering Committee Monday morning and now goes to the Senate Finance Committee.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has raised objections to the legislation on constitutional grounds. But at the same time, NYRA-operated thoroughbred racing tracks, as well as racinos, have raised concerns about the bill’s effects on their operations.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, the committee chairman and the main sponsor of the bill, said the issue was a balancing act.
“This is a cement that’s nearly not yet hardened and hopefully we can mold it, and hopefully we can mold it to be more inclusionary,” Addabbo told reporters after the meeting.
New Jersey already has a sports gambling provision in place, and Addabbo is worried the state is losing out on the revenue. He held a public hearing last week on the issue.
The NYRA already allows wagers to be placed on a mobile app. Addabbo on Monday suggested the industry should be streamlined.
“It’s the future of our state that maybe we include horse racing in with the gaming,” he said. “We need to streamline our gaming industry. This may not be phase one, it may not be tomorrow, but in the future I envision we streamline and reform the industry by including horse racing.”
Addabbo said he didn’t want to punt the issue to the next year. The session is scheduled to end in June.