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Illegal markets will be targeted after sports betting, online gaming begins

As state lawmakers consider allowing wagering on sporting events on mobile apps, major sports leagues say the move would allow for a reduction in illegal placed bets by New Yorkers.

The state Senate on Wednesday held a public hearing on the issue as casinos in the state move forward with sportsbooks, which would allow gamblers to place bets in the state’s gaming halls, which have struggled to show revenue gains since opening.

Mobile betting, on a phone or tablet, would not require a sports gambler to go to a casino, and is already permitted in neighboring New Jersey.



“Mobile betting is something that allows you to convert people who are betting off-shore in illegal markets or betting with illegal operators here in the U.S. to have an appealing product that is going to replace those illegal markets,” said Dan Spillane, the senior vice president of league governance and policy at the NBA. “From a consumer protection and integrity point, having a competitive market place has value.”

Sports betting is potentially big business for the state as well, and would capture some of the revenue generated by bets. Professional sports leagues have increasingly dipped their toes into legalized gambling following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to pass laws regulating the activity.

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