Sports Betting

This March 8 photo shows college basketball betting odds on a screen at the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City N.J.

The state Gaming Commission is accepting public comments on its proposed rule to allow sports wagering in four upstate New York casinos. 

The rule was published in the state register Wednesday and a 60-day comment period has commenced. Sports betting could be permitted as soon as mid-May when the comment period expires. 

There won't be a public hearing on the rule. Statements can be mailed to Kristen M. Buckley, New York State Gaming Commission, One Broadway Center, P.O. Box 7500, Schenectady, NY, 12301-7500. 

Members of the public may comment on the proposed rule by calling (518) 388-3332 or emailing gamingrules@gaming.ny.gov

The state Gaming Commission approved the proposed rule in January. The regulations would allow four upstate casinos, including del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County, to offer sports wagering. The rule would also allow Indian-owned casinos, such as the Oneida Nation's Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, to accept sports bets. 

To offer sports wagering, the casinos would be required to have a designated lounge to accept bets. Casinos could offer automated ticketing systems that would allow players to place bets, but the devices must be inside the lounge area. 

Casinos would pay taxes on sports betting revenue. The facilities already pay taxes on revenue collected from slot machines and table games. The state keeps roughly 80 percent of the revenue and the rest is distributed to the host municipalities and counties within the casino's gaming region. 

For now, sports bets would only be accepted in casinos. The commission's proposed rule doesn't include a mobile betting option. Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes a constitutional amendment is needed to allow mobile betting in New York. 

Earlier this week, Cuomo's office downplayed the amount of revenue available through mobile betting. However, neighboring New Jersey reported in February that more than 80 percent of sports bets in the state were placed either online or by using a mobile device. 

"I am not a fan, pardon the pun, of the new mobile sports betting," Cuomo said Monday. 

Once the rule is finalized, New York's casinos are prepared to offer sports betting. Last year, del Lago announced a partnership with DraftKings to open a sportsbook at the casino as soon as the state allows sports wagering. 

States are legalizing sports betting following a Supreme Court ruling last year. The court overturned a federal law that prevented states from allowing sports wagering.

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.