On Wednesday, The Buffalo News reported that executives from Pegula Sports and Entertainment were in Albany to lobby for legalized sports gambling within the respective homes of the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres. The lobbying comes after a proposal was floated by Democratic State Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon) to allow gambling for fans in Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden.
PSE executives have retained a lobbying firm headed by Rick Ostroff, a longtime confidant of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
PSE spokesperson Don Heins confirmed that the company has retained Ostroff’s firm, but did not comment specifically on the sports gambling legislation. He said, “Several legislative items are currently under consideration that could have an effect on our business operations and the fans’ game day experience. As always, our fans remain our number one priority.”
The legality of sports gambling has been debated continuously for the better part of the last year in New York State, with Governor Cuomo stating that the current online method is unconstitutional based on the state’s current constitutional language. He said that an amendment to the state constitution would have to come via state lawmakers in addition to a statewide referendum on the matter before online gambling could happen in New York.
The state approved in-person sports gambling at four new casinos in 2013.