New Yorkers evenly split on online sports betting

Sports Betting

New York voters are split right down the middle on whether the state should legalize online betting on sports events, through smartphone apps and computer servers, according to a new Siena College poll.

The poll found 44 percent of New Yorkers support the idea while 44 percent are opposed. Another 12 percent said they didn’t know or had no opinion.

Broken down by region, Upstate voters were more likely to oppose the idea, while those in New York City or its suburbs were more likely to be in favor.

New York has an existing law, passed in 2013, that allows sports betting on a limited basis at the authorized casinos. As written, the 2013 law only allows sports betting on site at Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County; del Lago Resort & Casino near Waterloo in the Finger Lakes; Tioga Downs west of Binghamton in the Southern Tier, and Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady.

The existing law does not allow online or off-site betting, and prohibits wagers on New York college teams and collegiate events that take place in the state.

The Oneida Indian Nation, which operates the Turning Stone, Yellow Brick Road and Point Place casinos in Central New York, has said it will start to open its sports books in those locations as soon as the state authorizes them at the private casinos.

The Senecas, who have three casinos in Western New York, have not made their intentions public, but likely would do the same. The Indian nations say their gaming compacts with the state allow them to offer any games that are allowed at the private, full-service casinos.