Buffalo looks to make a major statement en route to lobbying for legalized sports betting in New York state. At least if one of the most powerful men in town has a say.
Pegula Sports and Entertainment – a company led by Bills and Sabres owner Terry Pegula – is pushing for state officials in Albany to let fans at both NFL and NHL games in Buffalo make legal sports wagers from inside New Era Field and the KeyBank Center.
Buffalo Sports Titan Faces Battle Over Betting
With Pegula facing what is considered an uphill battle against those at the New York state capitol, representatives of the company recently worked alongside some folks in Albany to get their point across.
Leading to the discussions, the idea of fans at Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden being able to make legal sports bets from their seats has been floated as well.
Sports betting is not yet legal in New York state, so the conflict among all sides remains ongoing. Nonetheless, Pegula and company don’t appear primed to give up on their proposal anytime soon.
“Several legislative items are currently under consideration that could have an effect on our business operations and the fans’ game day experience,” Pegula Sports and Entertainment spokesperson Don Heins said in an official statement, the Buffalo News reported. “As always, our fans remain our number one priority.”
Pegula, 67, fully owns the Sabres of the NHL and both he and his wife, Kim Pegula, own the Bills of the ever-popular NFL.
Pegula Also Owns Minor-League Teams
Not only that, but Pegula also owns stake in the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans, the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits and the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League.
The Bandits have won four NLL championships. Pegula also has purchased the intellectual property of another NLL franchise, the Rochester Knighthawks, in an agreement last year.
Even with the Bills and Sabres in long droughts with little success, Buffalo remains a key sports city in the United States thanks to infamous fans who can get pretty rowdy at times – whether or not their favorite teams are winning.
New Jersey, Pennsylvania Have Legal Sports Betting
Two neighboring states – New Jersey and Pennsylvania – have already elected to legalize sports betting, but New York remains a bit behind on such excitement.
New York remains in line to eventually legalize sports wagering, the state has a way to go. In 2013, New York passed a law allowing for legalized sports betting at four on-site locations. For now, that provision is latent.
New York is expected to publish sports betting rules later in March, followed by a 60-day comment period. Would put it on a timeline for sports betting launch at NY upstate casinos sometime prior to football season.— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) March 11, 2019
“The New York State Gaming Commission is aiming to complete regulations ‘in the short term’ for the four locations specified in the 2013 law,” according to a recent ESPN article. “Legislation that would have allowed for full-scale sports betting in New York failed in June 2018, but have been re-introduced in 2019.”
It is also worth noting that online daily fantasy sports continue to thrive in New York as both DraftKings and FanDuel currently function within the state’s boundaries.