NY casino process taking too long, two lawmakers say

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NY casino process taking too long, two lawmakers say
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IGB takes a look at what happened in gambling news over the weekend.

NY casino process: Let’s get a move on!

New York state Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow dropped a bill that would speed up the current NY casino timeline. Regulators earlier this year said they would award licenses for three downstate casinos by 31 December 2025. The bill would require bids to be filed by 31 July and the New York State Gaming Commission to award licenses by 31 March 2025. The bill outlines 17 areas applicants must address from capital expenditure to proposed partnerships to workforce training, demographic plan, and “harmony.”

The New York Post reported that a shortened timeline could help out certain parties and hurt others. Addabbo’s district borders Aqueduct, which is the location for the Resorts World bid. Pretlow’s district is near the Yonkers race track.

On the flip side, Steve Cohen’s Citi Field NY casino proposal would benefit from a longer runway. That project needs legislative action to move forward. Any project would mean new jobs and a new revenue stream for the state.

“I’ve been trying to get the process moving,” Pretlow told the Post. “It’s taking too long. We’re leaving $2bn on the table.”

An NCAA report released Friday (17 May) revealed that one in three high-profile athletes received abusive messages from someone with a betting interest. Of 54,000 flagged “online abuse and threats,” 1% were betting related and directed at men’s and women’s basketball players. The NCAA contracted with Signify Group for the study during March Madness. The company examined 1,000 student-athletes, 280 coaches, 120 officials and 64 teams.

According to the study, in “sports with a high volume of betting,” 15-25% of abuse is betting related. In addition, women’s basketball players are three times more likely to be threatened than their male counterparts.

New in New Mexico

Caesars Sportsbook opened three locations in New Mexico for in-person betting, the company announced Monday (20 May). Bets are now being accepted at Route 66 Casino Hotel and Casino Xpress west of Albuquerque and Dancing Eagle Casino east of Grants. Caesars gained market access through Laguna Development, the commercial arm of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe.

New Mexico does not allow digital sports betting, and its tribes have exclusivity for gaming.

Virginia governor says no to games of skill

A bill that would have legalized games of skill was among 48 vetoed by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Friday (17 May). The games, which are not regulated in the state, have been garnering attention in Pennsylvania and other states. Youngkin wrote that the state must “proceed with a robust set of safeguards.” He added that it was “regrettable” that the legislature did not adopt his suggestions, and that he’s open to continued discussion.

The American Gaming Association released a statement in favor of Youngkin’s veto. The move “will protect communities from illegal gambling machines and uphold not only the original ban passed by the General Assembly in 2020 but subsequent judicial determinations in Virginia’s courts,” CEO Bill Miller said.

In other news …

The Chicago Tribune made its final press run at the Freedom Center. The newspaper will move its print runs to a suburban location as construction of the Bally’s Casino Complex is set to begin.

Iowa’s Q Casino and Resort will debut its renovated casino floor beginning 24 May. Grand opening ceremonies will last through Memorial Day weekend, and will feature live music and giveaways.

Wisconsin’s Potawatomi Tribe is developing an on-site mobile app that should be ready for use in early 2025. The tribe opened its retail sportsbook earlier this month.