New York Sports Betting Regulations Proposed, MGM Resorts Completes Empire City Acquisition

Posted on: January 29, 2019, 05:51h. 

Last updated on: January 29, 2019, 03:03h.

New York sports betting regulations were proposed this week by the state’s Gaming Commission, and the rules will now undergo a 60-day public comment period.

New York sports betting Andrew Cuomo
At Governor Andrew Cuomo’s request, New York sports betting regulations have been proposed by the state’s Gaming Commission. (Image: Drew Angerer/Getty)

The 33-page document will govern sports betting operations at the four Upstate New York commercial casinos. Native American casinos, as well as parimutuel facilities, are not permitted to operate sportsbooks.

A 2013 law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) earmarked sports betting for del Lago, Resorts World Catskills, Rivers, and Tioga Downs should a change come to the federal law. That change came last May when the US Supreme Court repealed the longstanding Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

The New York State Gaming Commission said in a release, “The intentions of these rules is to provide a solid regulatory structure that will enable four facilities to get running as soon as practicable. The proposed regulations seek to protect the integrity of wagering and underlying contests and ensure that sports wagering remains within the scope of activity the Legislature authorized.”

Cuomo stated earlier this month that he wanted sports betting up and running sooner rather than later at the four casinos. “Let’s authorize sports betting,” the governor said in his budget address. “It’s here, it’s a reality, and it will help generate activity in those casinos.”

Regulatory Details

New Yorkers approved a ballot referendum in 2013 to change the state Constitution and authorize four upstate commercial casinos. The subsequent legislation crafted by lawmakers stated that if New Jersey successfully won its argument that PASPA violated the US Constitution, then the New York State Gaming Commission would move to allow sportsbooks at the four land-based venues.

Much of the New York sports betting mandates issued for review this week were dictated by the 2013 legislation. Patrons must physically enter the casino to place a bet, as mobile sports betting is prohibited.

New York has a fluctuating gross gaming tax rate that is dependent on total revenues. The proposed guidelines for sports betting say simply, “Gross gaming revenue from sports pool wagering shall be taxed at the rate applied to gross gaming revenue from all other sources.”

MGM Enters New York

On Monday, gaming regulators approved MGM Resorts’ $850 million acquisition of the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway. The purchase is MGM’s latest investment on the east coast.

MGM bought out Boyd Gaming’s 50 percent stake in Atlantic City’s Borgata in May 2016 for $900 million. That December, the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor in Maryland opened. And last August, the $960 million MGM Springfield in Massachusetts commenced operations.

Empire City’s gaming floor features 5,200 slot machines and electronic table games. The venue is just a little more than 10 miles north of the heart of New York City.

MGM has long been in a New York state of mind. The company operates New York-New York on the Las Vegas Strip, a casino resort with a Big Apple theme.