Prop Bets Could Be Coming to Fantasy Sports in New York

In the ever-changing – and always controversial – landscape of New York's gaming and betting industry, a new betting bill has emerged. Amid an ongoing tug-of-war about what should or shouldn't be legal, fantasy sports prop betting could make a return.

Boston Celtics shooting guard/small forward Jaylen Brown scoring in a game. (Source: Getty Images)

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This proposed legislation, spearheaded by Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, seeks to legalize proposition bets, commonly known as prop bets, specifically within the realm of fantasy sports. The bill's introduction follows a contentious period last year when the New York Gaming Commission enacted a ban on player props involving Over/Under Pick’em style games, which had become a point of debate in the sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industries.

Related: New Jersey Considers Total Ban on College Prop Bets

Prop bets are bets made on an action within a particular game or event that are independent of the game's final outcome. They could include a bet on whether a certain NBA player will score first in a game or how many yards a running back may run in an NFL game.

The legislation aims to address and refine the regulatory environment for fantasy sports betting. It proposes that licensed gambling operators in New York be permitted to offer prop bets for fantasy sports, a move that could generate additional revenue for the state.

The bill also suggests an increase in the minimum age for participation in fantasy sports from 18 to 21, aligning it with the legal age for sports betting in the state. This change reflects a growing concern over responsible gambling and the protection of younger individuals from potential gambling-related harm.

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Prop Bets Produce Big Dividends

Prop bets have gained popularity due to their engaging nature, allowing bettors to leverage their knowledge of players and teams beyond mere win-loss predictions. Exact figures for how much revenue is generated from prop bets is scant, but estimates suggest that prop bets make up about 2% of the total sports betting handle. That could indicate roughly $200 million, depending on market analysis.

However, this form of betting has also faced scrutiny. Last year's ban by the New York Gaming Commission was a response to concerns that such bets blurred the lines between fantasy sports and traditional sports wagering. The ban required operators to possess a sports betting license, rather than a fantasy sports license, to offer such bets to the public.

The outcome of this legislative effort will not only impact the fantasy sports betting landscape in New York but could also set a precedent for other jurisdictions grappling with similar regulatory challenges. The bill's proponents argue that, if passed, it could retain revenue within the state that might otherwise flow to illegal operators or out-of-state entities, thereby bolstering New York's economy and funding educational initiatives through increased tax revenue.


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