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Zona de Azar USA – New York: Proposed Legislation Aims to Legalize Fixed-Odds Betting on Horse Racing

USA.- January 9th 2024 New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have introduced bills in the Legislature with the goal of legalizing fixed-odds betting on thoroughbred racing. Additionally, the proposed legislation seeks to authorize self-service betting kiosks at various venues, including tracks, stadiums, and arenas.

Similar measures were introduced during both the 2022 and 2023 sessions but faced challenges advancing beyond committees. As these efforts persist, a broader conversation on the legalization of online casinos in New York is gaining traction as a central point for potential legislative reform.

The introduction of the fixed-odds betting bill coincides with ongoing discussions among legislators about expanding gambling options in New York State, particularly the inclusion of online casinos. Senator Addabbo, who heads the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, has expressed plans to introduce legislation on iGaming in the current legislative session.

With New York grappling with a multi-billion dollar deficit, the state is exploring new revenue streams without resorting to tax increases. Governor Kathy Hochul, expected to unveil her 2024 state budget plan this month, has been encouraged by Addabbo to support the fixed-odds wagering and iGaming proposals. The senator contends that embracing expanded gambling could recoup a significant portion of revenue lost to offshore bets or other states like Pennsylvania.

“You can’t cut yourself out of a deficit… The idea is you look for revenue. I don’t know what governor would allow New Yorkers to do something in an unsafe manner and lose $1 billion in betting revenues,” remarked Addabbo.

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) is backing the fixed-odds wagering measure, which has the potential to include thoroughbred racing as part of the state’s sports wagering program. This would represent a notable departure from the current system, permitting wagering on horse racing solely through advance-deposit wagering platforms that offer pari-mutuel betting.

The NYRA supported the 2023 bill, with spokesperson Patrick McKenna stating at the time, “Allowing mobile sports wagering platforms to offer premium horse racing content would generate untapped gaming revenue for New York State, attract new fans to horse racing, and deepen the sport’s overall economic impact.”

The proposed change necessitates sports betting platforms to secure agreements with tracks licensed for pari-mutuel wagering, enabling tracks to negotiate the proportion of wagering handle returned to racing. The goal is to adapt the existing pari-mutuel system to allow fixed-odds wagering through sports operators, contingent upon the approval of state Gaming Commission regulators.

Edited by: @MaiaDigital


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