WXXI AM News

NY casinos get ready for the possibility of sports betting

May 14, 2018

Credit supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively prevented most states from legalizing sports betting, opening a door for state governments to join in what has become a lucrative industry.

The high court's decision came in a case from New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks in the state.

Some casino operators in New York State have already indicated they look forward to getting the opportunity to offer sports betting.

A spokesman for the del Lago Resort and Casino, Steve Greenberg, says they prepared to implement sports betting as quickly as possible.

“We know that there are people in upstate New York and the Finger Lakes region and beyond who are interested in betting on professional sports and so we certainly would love to provide that option for them,” Greenberg told WXXI News.

The Oneida Indian Nation says it has been preparing to offer sports betting at their venues in anticipation of the court ruling.

Western Regional Off Track Betting, which operates OTB parlors throughout the region, also wants a piece of action, says Chief Operating Officer Mike Nolan.

“The off track betting infrastructure has been in place since 1973; we have brick and mortar locations, we’re up and we’re ready, and I’ll tell you if we get favorable legislation that allows it, we’ll be up and running this fall.”

Legislation is needed before any bets can be taken in New York, and Governor Cuomo sounds doubtful that there is enough time left in the current legislative session to work out the details.

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea. The National Council on Problem Gambling predicts many more people will develop gambling problems or worsen existing ones unless steps are taken to minimize risks.

This story includes reporting by the Associated Press.