It’s known as a 60-day “public comment period” – but this recently-concluded time frame by the New York Gaming Commission might as well have been titled “speak now or forever hold your peace,” or “last call!”
And so there were plenty of takers to the commission, which released a summary of the comments on Thursday.
More importantly, the commission announced that its next meeting would be held on Monday – setting the stage for final approval of the necessary regulations that will open the doors for sports betting at four commercial casinos upstate as well as at their native American counterparts. The four commercial casinos poised to put the regulations into practice and open up windows for retail sports wagering are: del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County, Tioga Downs in Tioga County, Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County and Rivers in Schenectady County.
So what sort of feedback did they get from the 19 public comments? Let’s review staff summaries of comments from the public meeting book:
“Jeremy Kudon of the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, on behalf of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the PGA Tour, urged the Commission to adopt the proposed regulations……
“The commentator suggested several amendments to protect the integrity of sports and maintain public confidence in athletic contests, including requiring greater cooperation between casinos and sports leagues by mandating casinos and their integrity monitoring providers be required to report integrity-related abnormalities to the affected sports league; that casinos be required to share real-time pseudonymized bet-level data with the affected sports governing body; and that casinos be required to cooperate with a sports league’s corruption investigations.
“The commentator states that the leagues and governing bodies are best positioned to detect corruption across casinos and jurisdictions and have access that others may lack to teams, referees, players and other insiders for investigation of irregularities.”
No ability to restrict certain wagers or an official data feed request? Wait for it:
[Kudon] suggests that the proposed rule does not afford leagues an adequate opportunity to participate in the wager approval process and suggests that the proposed rules require notice to leagues of any proposed new bets to better afford them the opportunity to make and explain an objection. The commentator also suggests that each league should have the ability seek restrictions on certain high-risk bets and to opt out of wagers that it deems to pose unusual integrity risks.”
Last-ditch bid for “official league data” requirement
And then, here it is: “[Kudon] suggests that the proposed rules should require casinos to use official league data to settle in-game wagers to avoid manipulation and ensure consumer confidence, suggesting that unofficial data sources are susceptible to manipulation or falsification.”
Oddly, in a summary of public comments, all commission replies are… redacted. So we don’t know the Commission’s response to Kudon’s remarks or, for example, to “The commentator points out a typographical error.”
The owners of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, weeks before Thursday’s revelation that might shut them out of running sports betting at their sites:
“Pegula Sports + Entertainment requests that the regulations be expanded to allow for in-game, in-venue sports wagering “at major professional sports venues in accordance with all applicable rules and laws.” The commentator recognizes that its request may require amendment of the Racing Law.”
Others of note:
“The commentator notes that the definition would prohibit an individual from placing a wager as an agent or proxy and questions whether the definition would prohibit partnerships, corporations or a “syndicate of players from designating a member or officer to physically on-site place wagers on behalf of the corporation or syndicate.”
Another response: “The commentator states that the definition of “suspicious wager” should be “expanded to explain how an operator would reach” a conclusion that a wager “is not the sort of wager that a particular patron would normally be expected to place.”
William Hill weighs in
William Hill US filed several comments, including this one: “This section requires a segregated booth for a cashier cashing a ticket of more than $20,000. The commentator suggests that this threshold be lowered to $10,000, to better protect patron privacy and increase security.”
And another: “This section prohibits past-posting and wagering on known event outcomes. The commentator suggests adding language to allow the Commission to rescind wagers in the case of “obvious error.” That’s along with: “The commentator suggests requiring the Commission to rescind any wagers made more than five minutes after the event has started, other than wagers specifically designated as in-play wagers.”
Elsewhere, one more try on this one: “One commentator encouraged removal of restrictions on college contests in New York or involving New York colleges.” New Jersey has the same restriction on its colleges.
This came from an opposition group: “New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms urges the Commission to reject the proposed regulations. It states that gambling damages the integrity of sports and that the gambling industry “prey[s] upon everyday New Yorkers — including New Yorkers suffering from gambling addictions.”
We can only imagine, meanwhile, who this might be from (there is a section without attribution of who made the comment): “One commentator suggested the regulations should address protections for bettors “who consistently win,” whom casinos might limit or ban.”