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N.Y. Assembly Speaker: Sports Betting Unlikely To Pass This Year

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The speaker of the New York State Assembly says there isn't enough support to pass legislation authorizing sports betting this year.

It would have allowed wagering at the state's four commercial casinos and shared some of the revenue with professional sports leagues. 

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow is sponsoring a bill that would legalize sports gambling in New York.

"I have 60 on board right now, but the Assembly Speaker wants me to have at least 76 so I've got to find 16 more bodies," said Pretlow. "I think I can do it."

But Bronx Democrat Carl Heastie said Thursday that lawmakers in his chamber have raised "significant issues" about legislation that would allow bets at casinos and on mobile devices.

Pretlow says those opposing the bill believe it's a morality issue.

"The speaker says he's not a fan of gambling," said Pretlow. "And I know he isn't and that's fine, but that's not a reason we should keep this from happening because there are millions of New Yorkers who are a fan of sports betting."

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, of Manhattan, told CBS2's Ali Bauman she intends to vote against the bill.

"I think it will undermine the integrity of the games. I also believe that it will lead to greater gambling addiction," she said. "I don't think that we should be chasing whatever happens across in New Jersey and have that be the rationale for New York making a bad decision about exposing more people to addictive gambling."

While supporters will keep trying to find a compromise, Heastie's comments all but end any chance of a sports betting bill passing before lawmakers adjourn for the year next week, CBS2's Steve Overmyer reported.

Betting has already started in New Jersey after that state passed a law authorizing sports betting.

When New Jersey internet betting is allowed in 30 days, New Yorkers will have to travel across the river to just place a bet on their phone. All of those profits will go to New Jersey.

"The biggest consequence is that we're going to lose a lot of tax revenue," said Pretlow.

Estimates suggest sports betting could give New York an additional $35 million to fund education.

Unless the bill passes by Wednesday, it can't come up again until next April.

Many states are expected to follow New Jersey's steps after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it's up to all 50 states to decide whether to allow the gambling activity.

CBS2 reached out to Governor Cuomo multiple times Friday for his thoughts on the bill, but he and his staff have yet to respond.

A sports gambling bill is also pending in Connecticut.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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