Will Possible New York Constitutional Amendment Clear Path For P2P Sports Wagering?

Will Possible New York Constitutional Amendment Clear Path For P2P Sports Wagering? article feature image

VCG/Getty. Pictured: Bar showing the Super Bowl

A bill filed in the New York State Assembly may be opening the legal path to a different kind of sports wagering, taking sportsbooks out of the equation.

On Tuesday, New York Senator Jarrett Gandolfo filed a bill to "allow bars and restaurants to organize and manage sports squares pools, provided that they do not take any profit from such pools."

While the bill may not seem like a particularly significant one on the surface, gaming law and sports betting attorney Daniel Wallach noted the underlying importance that may be present in the filing.

The key goal of this bill would be to allow bars and restaurants to maintain a big tool for revenue that comes from sports. If you've ever participated in a Super Bowl squares pool, this is the type of contest that would apply.

Though the practice of operating these pools has been around for some time, these types of contests have been cracked down on by the NYS Liquor Authority following the legalization of sports betting in New York.

However, the key aspect of this filing is that the language "pool-selling without profit" could open the door for peer-to-peer sports wagering, as Wallach notes. The bill that was filed by Gandolfo would require a constitutional amendment due to the current framework in place regarding this type of activity.

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Peer-to-peer sports wagering is a form of sports betting that allows individuals to wager not with sportsbooks, but rather with each other. This removes the vigorish or "juice" associated with traditional betting and results in the best possible odds for an individual bettor.

Examples of this type of company would be Prophet Exchange or Sporttrade, but they only operate in states where they are currently legal, such as New Jersey.

Opening up the New York market would be massive. New York generates the greatest handle of all states, and by a wide margin. For example, the $1.5 billion that New York generated in sports betting handle in April 2023 nearly doubled the volume of any other state where legal sports betting is available.

Peer-to-peer sports betting operators also present a threat to sportsbooks, but it would take considerable time before the market share that traditional sports betting operators engage in to be impacted significantly.

Nonetheless, Tuesday's filing could be the start of a new era of sports betting in New York.

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