New York Adopts Internet Account Wagering Rules

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board adopted regulations Dec. 28 that will expand account wagering to include the Internet and other electronic platforms.

The board approved an emergency rule that takes effect Jan. 22, 2007. Upon satisfactory review by the state Office of Regulatory Reform, the proposed rules will be submitted to the Department of State for public comment. The board won’t adopt the final rules until a 45-day public comment period ends.

Currently in New York, licensed pari-mutuel facilities such as racetracks and off-track betting parlors can offer telephone wagering on site. The new rules will allow wagers to be made via the Internet or cell phones.

The NYSRWB said the new rules will also establish reporting, record-keeping, and operations and application requirements for pari-mutuel entities.

“The New York State Racing and Wagering Board needs to ensure that the hundreds of millions of dollars that may potentially be wagered by telephone and the internet, in any given year, can be accounted for using uniform and reliable methods,” chairman Daniel Hogan said in a statement. “These new guideless provide the necessary safeguards that allow for the use of state-of-the-art communication equipment in account wagering while preserving the integrity of pari-mutuel wagering throughout the state.”

Tracks and OTB corporations in the state have advocated an expansion of account wagering. The New York legislature approved a bill to authorize Internet betting in the summer of 2006.

A legislative memo said Internet account wagering would “help to reduce the cost of placing a bet because the transaction cost of placing a bet over the Internet to a New York racetrack or OTB is much lower than placing a bet via a telephone that is answered by an OTB consumer representative,” and in turn allow tracks and OTB corporations to generate more revenue.