In-person wagering could soon be permitted at New York sports stadia, including the Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden, under a proposed new betting law.
Democratic New York assembly member Gary Pretlow has said that the legislation he announced last week to allow in-game gambling on-site is being revised and should be approved in the absence of strong opposition.
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."
New York senator Joseph Addabbo, also a Democrat, also said that in-person betting would eventually be legalised, though warned that the state needed to adopt “a very methodical manner” if it is to implement sports betting properly.
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."
In an email to the Associated Press (AP), the Madison Square Garden Company said: ‘There are several areas, such as on-site gaming, we'd like to explore with the State and our league partners.’
The development is the latest since the US Supreme Court gave way to individual states last May to decide whether to open legalised sportsbooks and effectively shut down a nationwide ban.
Though several states have decided to permit sports betting only Washington, DC, has approved gambling at sporting venues. That restriction was lifted in December, but it is yet to be implemented.
In New York’s neighbour New Jersey, the landmark state for America’s gambling recent revolution, in-person betting is restricted to casinos and racetracks. January saw New Jersey gamblers bet US$385 million on sports, including around US$305 million online or via mobile devices, according to the AP.
On mobile gambling in New York, governor Andrew Cuomo has contended that the state constitution would have to be amended for it become legal. However, Pretlow told the AP that he has been led to believe the state governor is studying his view.