Following a May Supreme Court decision in which a federal ban on sports gambling was held unconstitutional, the State of New York has been under pressure from gambling advocates to legalize the practice here. Gambling advocates even invited celebrities like former New York Yankees managers Joe Torre and Joe Girardi to the Capitol to push legislators to open the door to sports gambling. On June 22, 2018, however, Albany Update reported that the 2018 state legislative session had ended without sports gambling legislation being passed.
Upon hearing this news, it would have been reasonable to conclude that the Empire State had held off sports gambling legalization at least until the Legislature returns to town in January. However, our state government’s urge to siphon more and more money from New Yorkers’ pockets is insatiable. According to the Albany Times Union, efforts are currently underway to permit sports gambling via executive action. On August 7, the Times Union reported that the Gaming Commission is preparing regulations that would allow sports gambling at the four new upstate casinos that have opened during the past two years. Mercifully, it does not appear that sports gambling could be allowed at other locations without legislative action; however, if the Cuomo administration acts to allow sports gambling at the four upstate casinos, other gambling interests will claim that they should be allowed to get in on the action as well.
At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we wish that government worked as hard to solve real problems as it does to accommodate the gambling industry. Sports gambling is a losing proposition for everyone.