The state Gaming Commission has approved regulations that will allow sports betting at Indian casinos and 4 private venues including del Lago
New regulations from the state of New York could pave the way for legal sports gambling in some of the state's casinos.
"I love it. Go for it. It'll bring money to the state," said John Hoey of Poughkeepsie.
A Buffalo Bills fan, Hoey declared that he was already betting on sporting events whenever he traveled someplace where such wagers were legal.
"For a while the only place you could gamble was Vegas, now you can go to Vegas, Atlantic City, Delaware," he said, " You have your team, the Bills, to win and when you have money on the game and you win money, it's that much sweeter!"
On Monday, the New York State Gaming Commission approved a new proposal for regulations to allow betting on sporting events.
Technically, sports betting became legal in New York last year.
A state law passed in 2013 declared some sports gambling in certain venues would be permitted if the federal ban on such gambling were ever overturned.
The U.S. Supreme Court did indeed throw out the federal sports betting ban with a decision in May of 2018.
But the betting could not begin without a regulatory framework and the NYS Gaming Commission unveiled that framework on Monday.
The new regulations establish taxes to be paid by gaming venues for sports betting.
The rules also prohibit wagers on college sporting events that take place in New York state or that involve New York teams.
The regulations further mandate that gamblers must bet on sporting events in person, not on the internet or on the phone, in designated, licensed wagering lounges.
The proposal drew enthused endorsement from managers at the del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo, one of the facilities covered by the law.
"We are happy that the regulations are finally moving forward," said casino representative Steven Greenberg in a written statement. "As soon as they are finalized, del Lago Resort & Casino will be ready to go. Our customers want this form of gaming and we're excited to be able to offer it to them."
The praise was muted in other venues.
"We do think it's a good first start," granted Henry Wojtaszek, president of the Batavia Downs racetrack casino.
Under the 2013 law, only the state's Indian casinos and its four private casino locations like del Lago were authorized.
The 2013 legislation did not mention the state's racetracks such as Batavia Downs or Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack in Farmington — which is just a 27-mile drive away from del Lago — or New York's numerous off-track betting parlors, so the new regulations do not apply to them.
"A lot of other states have beat us to the punch on sports betting," Wojtaszek lamented. "People are going over the bridges and tunnels into New Jersey."
New Jersey allowed sports gambling to begin almost immediately after the Supreme Court's decision.
"I saw a statistic yesterday," Wojtaszek continued, "and I think it's pretty accurate. There's going to be $100 million bet in one day on the Super Bowl this coming Sunday."
Wojtaszek held out special hope in a proposed new state law, sponsored by New York City area Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, which would expand sports betting to include venues like his.
Would-be sports bettors, he said, have been enthusiastically watching the legal progress of sports gambling in other states and seeking their chance to put money on their favorites.
"People are calling, and stopping our attendants on the floor," he said. "There is great demand for it. There is clearly great demand for it in the state of New York. Western New York especially has a very loyal, hard-core, sports can fans who wish to bet on these sporting events."
After their approval by the NYS Gaming Commission, the proposed new rules moved into a 60-day public comment period so stakeholders could give their input.
That, Wojtaszek pointed out, meant that legal sports gambling still could not begin in New York until at least well after the 2019 Super Bowl and after the March Madness of the NCAA basketball championships.