Interview with Andrew Winchell, Chief of Staff, State Senator J.J. Bonacic

What is your opinion on calls for federal rule of sports betting?

I think there’s potential for a federal role, to set up a framework that would be able to work across states but traditionally, in the United States, gaming has been the purview of the states and I think that they will take the lead role in regulating it.

Where is NY state at with legalising sports betting?

New York state is moving forward.  They already have the casinos that have the authorisation to do sports betting in person.  The big rollout will be when we pass legislation to do mobile sports betting, which will expand the market and try to really capture state-wide, the impact of it.  I expect that, at some point in the next year, that we will move forward on legislation.

Integrity fees – agree or disagree?

It’s tough to sit here and say that the leagues don’t deserve some cut of the action or some involvement in the process.  It’s their underlying product.  I understand that in Nevada and elsewhere, they haven’t been paid integrity fees in most of the developed market but it’s something that needs to be talked about.  I do believe that they deserve some compensation to address the issues that they have to face to pay for their integrity costs. 

What made you want to participate in Betting on Sports America 2019?

That event is going to be incredible.  It’s going to come at a great time.  It’s widely expected that next year, during the budget process in New York, that the legislation will be brought up again on sports betting and the timing of the conference in April of 2019 will be right after our budget process.  So, I think there’ll be a lot to talk about.

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