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New York Legislation Could Allow Sports Betting In Local Stadiums

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A sponsor of sports betting legislation in New York said the bill likely would allow for in-person wagering at places like Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-89th) said Friday the legislation he announced this week is being tweaked and will have that provision unless he receives strong opposition.

"When people are betting on sports they want to be there," the Westchester County Democrat told CBS2's Ali Bauman. "It's more exciting."

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, also a Democrat, has taken a more cautious tone.

"To do it right, I think we need to do it in a very methodical manner," Addabbo said. "I see sports betting being rolled out over a couple of years, to make sure we do it both legally and respecting the integrity of the sport, which is very important, and protecting the consumer. And then I would suggest we do roll it out to the stadiums and other venues at some point."

The Supreme Court struck down a federal sports gambling ban last year. Since then, no stadiums or arenas in the eight states that have offered sports gambling have on-site betting operations. New Jersey, for example, restricts in-person gambling to casinos and racetracks.

Washington, D.C. approved gambling at stadiums and arenas in December, but it has yet to be implemented.

New York legislators only have to look one state to the west to see the revenue potential of sports gambling. In New Jersey, the state that mounted the successful legal challenge to the federal ban, gamblers bet $385 million on sports in January, which included about $305 million online or via mobile devices.

That helped Atlantic City's nine casinos collectively post a revenue increase of nearly 20 percent over the same month a year earlier, before sports betting was legalized.

"All due respect to anybody from New Jersey out there," Addabbo told the panel Friday. "We're going to do it better. And bigger. We are New York."

Pretlow estimates $10 billion is currently being wagered illegally in New York every year, and believes legalizing and taxing it could bring the state about $400 million in revenue annually.

"We remain excited about the positive impact legalized sports gaming has on consumer engagement and there are several areas, such as on-site gaming, we'd like to explore with the State and our league partners," The Madison Square Garden Company told CBS2 on Friday.

Pretlow hopes to finish the bill and bring it to the assembly by next month. The governor's office did not respond to CBS2's request for comment, but earlier this year Cuomo said he was in favor of legalizing sports betting in casinos upstate.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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