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New York Race and Sports Wagering

New York State legalized pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in 1939. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board (NYSRWB) was established to regulate the horse racing and pari-mutuel betting industry. In 1970, New York State enacted a law permitting local communities to operate pari-mutuel offtrack betting facilities. In 2012, the legislature created the New York State Gaming Commission as a single oversight gaming agency. On 1 February 2013, the Commission formally became responsible for all the policies, procedures, rules and programs previously administered by the NYSRWB.

In October 2008, Sona Mobile Holdings, a software solutions provider, began providing NYRA with mWager, a new mobile wagering application. The software offered real-time racing and wagering information anywhere and anytime on personal mobile devices.

The New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation (NYC-OTB), which was created by state legislation in 1970, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection late in 2009. Mismanagement, patronage and a declining horse racing industry had been faulted by some. After the State Senate refused to pass an Assembly-approved rescue bill for NYC-OTB, the corporation was forced to close operations in December 2010, resulting in a loss of almost 1,000 jobs, 50 betting parlors and an annual revenue stream of almost $10 million to related businesses. Several measures were adopted to minimize the impact. In August 2011, the NYSRWB approved simulcasting of New York-based harness races at the three thoroughbred tracks operated by NYRA. Fans wishing to watch and wager on races at Batavia Downs, Monticello Raceway, Saratoga Harness, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and Yonkers could do so at the Belmont Café and Aqueduct simulcast centers, as well as Saratoga Race Course. The races also could be bet using the NYRA account wagering system, and the NYRA launched an aggressive effort to bring former OTB customers to its tracks with bus lines. It also paid the Long Island Rail Road to restore train service to Belmont Park. All of these moves helped to retain a significant portion of handle.

In December 2011, the NYSRWB became aware that bettors had wrongfully been charged one percentage point higher than legally allowed on certain types of wagers, by the NYRA, for a 15-month period. The NYSRWB immediately ordered NYRA to lower its takeout rate to a percentage below the maximum legally permitted rate and to reimburse bettors who were wrongfully overcharged. A comprehensive investigation was undertaken into the circumstances. Findings determined that senior personnel at the NYRA knew the takeout rate was in violation of state law and did not correct it. As a result of the findings, two senior executives at NYRA were terminated. In June 2012, legislation was passed to help prevent these and other issues.

In June 2016, the Senate and Assembly in Albany cleared a bill to regulate daily fantasy sports.

In August 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to legalize fantasy sports in the state.

New York Race and Sports Wagering Properties

Aqueduct Racetrack
Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel
Belmont Park
Empire City at Yonkers Raceway
Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack
Hamburg Gaming
Monticello Casino and Raceway
Saratoga Casino Hotel
Saratoga Race Course
Tioga Downs Casino
Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel
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New York Race and Sports Wagering

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