A recent poll conducted by Siena College Research Institute reveals that residents of New York are evenly split on the issue of legal online sports wagering in the precinct. When asked is the state should expand the current laws to allow sports gambling via electronic devices, 44% of the respondents replied in favor while the other 44% were opposed to online bets. The other 12% were not sure.
Delving deeper into the demographics reveals indicates that Republicans are more in support of the online wagering while most Democrats seem to oppose the move. When comparing the genders of the respondents, women are opposed to online gambling while men think it should be legal. Lastly, a greater percentage of suburban dwellers seem to be in favour but most city dwellers are undecided on the issue.
Current state of sports betting in New York
New York is one of the states that have already legalized regulated sports betting, and operations in this market are overseen by the New York State Gaming Commission. The current law provides for in-person bets at four upstate casinos namely Tioga Downs Casino, Del Lago Resort & Casino, Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady, and Resorts World Catskills. A handful of Tribal owned casinos owned by the Oneida Indians and Seneca are also set to offer sports betting services.
Future of online sports betting
There’s a looming feeling that online bets could be legal in the state in future, but this would require New Yorkers to weigh in on the issue through a referendum. This is because the process would involve amending the constitution to broaden the current wagering regulations, and such actions require approval by voters. However, two of the state’s lawmakers have recently proposed a scheme that would legalize online sports gambling in the jurisdiction without having to go to the polls.
The two legislators, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and Senator Joseph Addabbo believe that New York could legalize online sports wagering without constitutional intervention as long as the operations comply with the provisions of the recently re-interpreted Wire Act. The Act prohibits transmission of wagers or information that may assist in placing of bets across states. This would mean that if New Yorkers were allowed to place sports wagers online, all the components of the activity including internet servers would have to be located within the borders of the state.