Will There Be Sports Betting at Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden
If a proposed bill passes in New York, there might be sports betting at Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden.

30-second summary

  • Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden could see in-person sports betting
  • Gambling opportunities could be expanded in New York
  • New bill has been introduced

Could New York be next?

In-person sports betting could soon be seen at places like the Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden if the New York legislature passes a proposed bill.

Gary Pretlow, a member of the New York State Assembly, introduced the bill last Thursday, North Jersey.com reports. According to the report, the bill would permit gambling operators to partner with the state’s four upstate casinos to offer in-person kiosk-based betting linked to an organization.

The four casinos are Resorts World Catskills, the Rivers Casino, Tioga Downs, and the Del Lago Resort.

If the bill is approved, sports betting could soon be seen at the Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden.

Speaking to a panel at the Cardozo Law School, Pretlow said: “That is one of the changes, that we would open it up to have affiliates such as Madison Square Garden, which has expressed an interest in doing this. I think it’s a great idea.”

Sports gambling was legalized in New York in 2013, when voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing commercial casino gambling in Upstate New York. The idea of legalizing sports betting was the next move. However, it wasn’t possible until last May, when a US Supreme Court ruling overturned the 1992 law banning sports betting.

In January, Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, called for the legalization of sports betting this year. At the time, he said: “Let’s authorize sports betting in the upstate casinos. It’s here. It’s a reality, and it will generate activity in those casinos.”

Interestingly, despite Cuomo’s initial enthusiasm, a separate report from the Legal Sports Report suggests that the state constitution would need to be amended to permit sports betting in the state. According to Pretlow, there has been a lot of interest in sports betting, adding that it’s “probably the most widely participated illegal activity that we have.”

He said: “I’ve heard several numbers as to what is best in New York and we have honed in on $10 billion (£7.6bn). It could be higher. It could be lower. Ten billion being wagered in the state of New York illegally is something I think we should look at.”

Yet, according to Joseph Addabbo, member of the New York State Senate, a cautious approach is required.

“To do it right, I think we need to do it in a very methodical manner,” he 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.”

Different approach to other states

Unlike New York, other US states are taking a more proactive approach to getting bills passed for the legalization of sports betting.

Eight states have passed bills: Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia and 15 other states are considering bills to legalize sports betting.

Of course, while New York is taking a slower approach to passing its own bill, eventually the state may open the door to potential new revenue in the future.