When it comes to sports betting laws, the situation in New York is uniquely complex. Although sports betting in New York is technically legal as law passed in 2013 decreed, federal law has prevented it from being properly realized. However, as of May 2019, lawmakers have taken big strides in moving forward with legislation to allow for a wider regulated sports betting industry, including the allowance of mobile sports betting. This legislation has come in the form of bill S 17, which the New York Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee has advanced on a unanimous vote for it to be voted on by the Senate Finance Committee. This article will discuss the state’s history with gambling, it’s favorite sports and how they are both related.
Gambling Laws in New York
Although New York sports betting is legalized at a restricted number of establishments, other forms of gambling remain popular and more accessible. While gambling has historically mostly been allowed in casinos on Tribal reservations, a newly overturned law has seen gambling on daily fantasy sports (DFS) now legalized. Originally, a law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo stipulated that DFS were to be considered illegal as they were not games of skill. This was overturned by the New York Supreme Court in 2018 and since then, the New York State Gaming Commission, the regulatory body of gambling in the state, has halted their oversight of DFS. Now, while it is not technically legal, offering it is no longer criminalized and there are many websites capitalizing on this. Current changes in legislation seeks to authorize mobile sports betting at commercial and tribal casinos, but many are looking at changes to the bill to allow betting on horse racing too.
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Most Popular Sports in New York
Home to some of the most famous teams and iconic sports grounds in the world, there is no sports fan quite like a New York sports fan. Home to the headquarters of Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, the metropolitan area of New York City hosts 11 teams that compete in the five most prestigious sporting leagues in the country. Whether at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, or Citi Field, millions of sports fans descend on sacred sporting grounds every week to watch their favorite teams, fighters, and athletes go head to head.
Baseball– The New York Yankees
As the top team of New York’s most popular sport, the New York Yankees are an institution that is globally recognized for its excellence at baseball. Having played in 40 World Series games since their inception in 1903, the Yankees have taken home the title 27 times – far more than the 11 taken home by the second highest winners, the St Louis Cardinals. With players like Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio once donning their timeless navy-striped uniform, it’s unlikely that any team will ever knock the Yankees off their pedestal as the best team of all time.
Football – New York Giants
Of the five teams that formed the NFL in 1925, the only team remaining is the New York Giants. As the oldest team still in the league, the Giants have a rich and exciting history and with it, generations of fans that stretch back decades. They have played 4 Super Bowl games in their long history, their latest being in 2011, and have won every one they played. They have gone on to spawn 28 Hall of Fame players, including NFL legends Lawrence Taylor and Rosey Brown. Their current home ground is the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Basketball – New York Knicks
The Knicks, or Knickerbockers, were formed in 1946 and began their storied history with a string of successes. In later years, however, they’ve struggled to keep up their former glory. In saying that, the Knicks have hundreds of thousands of fans who join them at Madison Square Garden when they play, having cheered them on through many tense, close play-off matches over the years. They have won two championships, one in 1970 and the other in 1973. Notable players include Patrick Ewing and Walter Frazier.
Ice Hockey – New York Rangers
As one of the Original Six – that is, one of the first of six National Hockey League that existed before the league expanded in 1967 – the New York Rangers formed in 1926 and have long been held highly as one of the league’s greatest teams. As the first NHL team to win the coveted Stanley Cup, they have gone on to win a total of 4, the last being in 1994. Despite there being a long drought of wins for the Rangers, they still attract a loyal following at their home stadium Madison Square Garden and have gone on to produce Hall of Famers like Mark Messier and Brian Leetch.
Local History of Sports Betting
When New York passed a law in 2013 to allow sports betting at four land-casinos, it looked as though there was hope for expanded sports betting in the near future. But when federal law blocked this from progressing, the state was put in a limbo when it came to legal sports betting and now, only four physical casinos as well as seven reservation casinos can host legal sports betting. However, as the tide on sports betting changes across the country, it looks like New York is on the way for full-fledged mobile sports betting as well as expanded licensing for more casinos. See more on the New York gambling page.
|1967||The New York lottery begins. It is the third modern U.S. lottery, after Puerto Rico’s in 1934, and New Hampshire’s in 1964.|
|1970||Off-Track horse-racing betting is legalized to curb illegal bookmakers and provide a revenue source for governments.|
|1993||Tribal Reservation Casinos legalized following the 1988 Federal ‘Indian Gaming Regulation Act’. The first would open the same year.|
|2001||New York legalizes several more Tribal casinos and permits video lottery terminals at a number of racetracks, creating racinos.|
|2013||New York passes the Upstate NY Economic Development Gaming Act, which would approve full casinos and sports betting. Federal law stifles its advancement.|
|2019||A number of bills enter the Senate that would legalize expanded sports betting and allow mobile wagering.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in New York
Online sports betting is not yet legal in New York, but this looks to be changing in the near future. For now, only DFS can be legally bet on online. The legal gambling age for gambling in New York is 18 years old, including for DFS. To play charity gaming, there is no age limit. To engage in unlawful gambling is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which may incur a maximum penalty of one-year jail-time or three years probation, plus a fine of up to $1,000 or twice the amount of the gain from the crime.
Sports Betting Age
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of New York?
Since New Jersey won a Supreme Court victory on laws that restricted sports betting, many states in the US are moving quickly to legalize it. There are currently 8 states that have legalized sports betting in the USA, while 6, including New York, have passed bills on the matter. It is a wise move too – currently, sports betting brings in a whopping 70% of global gambling revenue. New York neighbours two states with legal sports betting – Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In fact, a partial motivation for New York moving so quickly on sports betting laws is to prevent further lost revenue from its residents traveling to the bordering New Jersey to gamble.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
In New York, both cash and noncash gambling winnings are fully taxable at a rate of 25% if you have won $600 or more if the amount is 300 times the wager, $1,200 or more from bingo or slot machines, $1,500 or more from keno and over $5,000 from a poker tournament. For more info, visit the website of the IRS .
Upcoming Regulation Changes in New York’s Betting Law
If current bills are successful, New York’s gambling laws would allow for full-fledged sports betting in the state. The gaming commission has proposed a new set of rules for operating and licensing, that could see more casinos with sports betting licenses by the end of Summer 2019. On top of this, online sports betting with smart devices as well as betting at racinos may also be allowed to host sports betting.
”I’m hopeful that in the end, we have all the pieces in place and it forms a perfect, inclusionary picture where we have now maximized our potential revenue… and included everyone.”– Senate Chairman Joseph Addabbo Jr.