The New York Senate easily passed a bill to allow online and mobile sports betting in the state on Monday, but the bill appears to be dead in the water for the current session in the state Assembly.
While the legislation had overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate, passing in a 57-5 vote, there appeared to be concerns in the Assembly over the constitutionality of mobile wagering.
Constitutional Concerns Hold Up New York Bill
That concern has been cited in the past by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was the reason why the governor only supported a limited, land-based expansion of sports betting to upstate casinos. According to Cuomo, a constitutional amendment would likely be necessary in order to allow for online wagering.
On Tuesday, state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said that he and his legislative counsel had the same concern, which likely means he won’t put the bill up for a vote before the 2019 legislative session comes to an end on Wednesday. That’s a disappointment to Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester County), who says he has the votes to pass the bill, which would need a simple majority in the 150-member Assembly.
“I’m 100 percent positive I have 76 Democratic votes…and at least 30 Republicans,” Pretlow said, according to the Times Union. “I think we should give the people of New York the opportunity to do what they want to do, which is bet on sporting events. I respect the speaker, but he’s not a member of the Court of Appeals.
Maine Gives Initial Approval to Sports Betting
On Tuesday, lawmakers in Maine gave an initial approval to a bill that would allow for sports betting both at physical locations and over the internet. The state Senate passed the legislation by a 19-15 margin, while the House gave the measure unanimous approval.
While there are still procedural votes that need to be cleared in both houses, there has been little opposition to the idea of legalized sports gambling in Maine. The only point of contention was whether to require online operators to be associated with a physical licensee in the state, a measure that was ultimately left out of the bill.
“To me it’s a strange way to write a law that would require a new business to come into Maine only if they tether their license to an existing business,” state Sen. Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) said during the floor debate over the measure. “We don’t require Amazon to tether to existing grocery stores and we don’t require Airbnb to tether to hotels.”
New Jersey May Allow Team Owners to Take Bets
One year after the first sportsbook opened in the state, sports betting has been an unqualified success in New Jersey, with operators taking nearly $3 billion in bets so far. But that doesn’t mean the state has stopped tweaking its rules and regulations.
State lawmakers in the Garden State are considering lifting a provision that prevents team owners from taking bets on games in leagues where they own a team. That has primarily impacted the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, which is owned by Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the Houston Rockets.
If the new bill passes, the Golden Nugget and its partners would gain the right to take bets on the NBA, though they would still be prohibited from accepting any bets directly involving the Rockets, similar to the regulations currently in place in Nevada.