While sports pause, Addabbo wants to "Plan, Pass, and Prepare" mobile sports betting legislation

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

May 5, 2020

While there are no major sporting events taking place in New York, around the country, nor the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. believes that legislators should use this unique time to pass a mobile sports betting bill that would have the state ready to be part of this growing industry when the sporting events return.

For the last two years, Addabbo has been working to pass the mobile sports betting legislation to allow New Yorkers the ability to legally and safely place bets on sporting events from their mobile devices while in their own state, instead of having to go to places like New Jersey or the illegal market.

According to the Senator, it is only a matter of time until New York State adopts mobile sports betting — either through legislation or an unnecessary constitutional amendment — and he believes legislators should pass a bill before the end of the year, so the state is prepared to maximize the benefits of mobile sports betting.

“Every day, I am mindful of the negative impact the Coronavirus has inflicted upon our state. This is an unprecedented time we are facing right now, but it also presents us with an unprecedented opportunity,” Addabbo said. “In terms of sporting events, which are shutdown because of the global health crisis, we can utilize this time to institute a ‘Plan, Pass, and Prepare’ mobile sports betting legislative strategy.”

Addabbo’s “Plan, Pass, and Prepare” strategy utilizes this lull in sports activity to ‘Plan’ the advancing of strong, concrete, legislation, currently existing in S17D/A6113, with the Senate, Assembly, and Governor’s administration that will layout the rules and details of mobile sport betting, such as where revenue will be allocated and safeguards. The next step would be to ‘Pass’ the proposed bill and have Governor Cuomo sign it into law by December 31, 2020. The final step is to ‘Prepare’ the regulations, contracts, and finer points to have mobile sports betting ready to roll out to fans across the state by having the infrastructure in place to accept the mobile bets when sporting events resume.

“If we take advantage of this break in sports, we can hash out all of the details to come up with a comprehensive, long-term mobile sports betting bill this session and credibly be ready to go when the sports come back,” Addabbo said. “When games do return, there will most likely be limited fans in the stadiums and arenas in a continuance of protecting public health until the crisis is more under control. Mobile sport betting can be a means for fans to interact and participate in their favorite sports, while safely practicing a social distance. I believe now is the sensible time to ‘Plan, Pass, and Prepare’ mobile sports betting for New York.”

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