New York Senator Pushes Fixed-Odds Horse Betting

Big changes are coming to the state of New York from an online gaming perspective. The New York State Gaming Commission has recently cleared the way for legal online sports betting. It has granted the necessary licenses to nine different US-based sportsbook operators.

With the launch of legal mobile sports betting set for early next year, a few officials in the state want more. One hot topic is fixed-odds betting on horse racing. New Jersey has already paved the way earlier this year by amending its laws.

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State Senate Bill S7536

One prominent New York state senator is backing the effort to change the laws in his state as well. State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. has filed Senate Bill S7536. He is the chair of the NY Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering.

This bill would give licensed mobile sportsbook operators the ability to offer fixed odds when betting on horse racing. The current pari-mutuel betting system creates money pools for specific types of horse bets.

These pools keep the actual betting odds on a horse race in flux. With betting money coming in right up until post time, the actual racing odds are not determined until the betting windows close.

A fixed-odds option would allow horse bettors to lock-in their odds when the bet is actually placed. This has become a common practice in regulated horse betting markets in the UK and parts of Europe.

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Added Revenue for the State

The biggest driving force behind this change would be increased tax revenue. With the addition of legal mobile sports betting, New York’s hefty 51% tax rate will generate billions of tax revenue.

The thought process is to strike while the iron is hot and add fixed-odds horse betting to the mix. While the legal sports betting industry has exploded across the US, the online horse betting industry has not followed suit.

By giving bettors the chance to wager on horse races through fixed odds, it could generate more interest from the general sports betting public.

SB S7536 also has provisions that would allow betting kiosks at New York sports stadiums. Senator Addabbo is looking to get a fast start out of the gate ahead of the state’s 2022 legislative session.

He views mobile betting for horse racing as a “very high priority.” The plan is to sell the fixed odds concept as the same time legal mobile betting becomes available for sports.

Mobile Sports Betting and Horse Racing Combined

New York already has an impressive lineup of professional sports teams covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Adding iconic race tracks like Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga to the list is a natural extension.

The idea is to give New York consumers a “better product” overall. Also supporting the change is the New York Racing Association (NYRA). Senior Director of Communications Patrick McKenna stated that this would “deepen the industry’s economic impact and attract new fans.”

He is also in favor of incorporating this change to “coexist within the mobile sports betting marketplace.” The bill would permit the state’s nine approved operators to book fixed-odds horse bets through their mobile apps.

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