Will Fantasy Sports Betting Stay Legal in NY? Albany Court Decides
While mobile sports wagering is alive and well in the state of New York, the fate of fantasy sports betting is a bit murkier, and it's fate will be decided in a Court of Appeals in Albany, New York.
Legal Fantasy Sports Wagering is Currently in a Court of Appeals
According to a report from Courthouse News, the fate of fantasy sports betting lies in the hands of the New York Court of Appeals, which heard an appeal to its legalization on Tuesday.
The state of New York has had a tumultuous relationship with fantasy sports betting. Fantasy sports were legalized in 2016 in the state, but an anti-gambling group filed a lawsuit claiming that the law was unconstitutional.
Thus, a string of appeals began, after an appellate court ruled the following:
"In 2020, an appellate court ruled 4-1 that the fantasy sports betting law was unconstitutional since chance played a material part in the activity." - Nick Rummell, Courthouse News
The state took the case to the Court of Appeals in October, and as of February, that is still where the case sits. One judge recused himself from the case, another reached mandatory retirement during the middle of it, and when all was said and done, the six remaining judges were split on their decision.
The second appeal against this decision was filed, and heard, on Tuesday of this week. This time around, there is an odd number of justices hearing the case. So, we should have a decision one way or another on the fate of fantasy sports betting.
Mobile Sports Wagering Has Started with a Boom in New York
While the legality of fantasy sports in New York hangs in the balance, the prosperity of mobile sports wagering is unquestionable.
The New York Post reported that mobile sportsbooks in the state handled a total of $1.62 billion in bets during the month of January, blowing past the totals of the next closest states, Nevada and New Jersey. In total, those books made $113 million in total revenue. With the Super Bowl and March Madness on the horizon, one has to imagine that these totals are going to increase, before they decrease.
While fantasy sports betting is still a revenue generator, there are elements of chance that differentiate it from traditional sports wagering. Because of that, it's fate is a bit shaky, and the Court of Appeals in Albany will likely reach a conclusion soon.