Could Senecas Go All In on Mobile Sports Betting?

State lawmakers are looking at proposals and whether it would require a constitutional convention

Tom Puckett
May 08, 2019 - 6:59 pm

Buffalo, NY (WBEN/AP) As state lawmakers take a closer look at authorizing sports betting on mobile devices, could the Senecas also be looking at launching mobile sports betting?

The State Senate held a hearing Wednesday. Supporters say the state could make hundreds of millions off sports betting. The state's four non-Native American owned casinos would begin after state approval.

But what about the Senecas? Attorney Paul Cambria thinks they should be allowed to get in the game too. "They have the designated casinos. They're going to install a sports betting area, and to allow them to use mobile betting only makes sense," says Cambria. "If someone else is doing it, and it takes away from the Senecas, that would not be fair," referring to the exclusivity the Senecas have in WNY.

Cambria says if there's approval, considering how quickly the Senecas built the casinos, setting up mobile sports betting shouldn't take long. "I don't think it takes that much to set up an online betting operation. Some of my clients in other states had it ready in less than 30 days," explains Cambria. "They are ahead of the curve and ready to go because this is a big piece of revenue."

Governor Cuomo could be playing the cooler though, as he suggests a constitutional amendment may be required, which requires voter approval.

The Senecas issued this statement:

"The Seneca Nation is monitoring this effort and is optimistic that Senator Addabbo has taken the time and made the effort to reach out to the Native nations in New York for our input on a bill that has the potential to impact our existing gaming operations.  We plan on attending the hearing this week to learn more.  As sports betting moves toward legalization in New York, the Seneca Nation will explore its impacts, as well as our options to participate in this popular and potentially lucrative gaming option."


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