Capitol Watch: Cuomo To Puerto Rico; Casinos Eye Sports Bets
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In New York state government news, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making his fifth visit to Puerto Rico following last year's devastating hurricanes.
Meanwhile two upstate casinos are preparing for legalized sports betting.
Here's a look at stories making news:
CUOMO TO PUERTO RICO
Cuomo will travel to the island territory Monday. He'll be accompanied by students from state universities, labor leaders, health care and non-profit executives and other elected officials including New York City Public Advocate Tish James and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
The New York delegation will then disperse to work on rebuilding projects around the island. They follow several hundred New Yorkers who have already volunteered their time, including nurses, doctors, utility workers, police officers and SUNY students. In addition, the state has sent 4,400 pallets of drinking water, food, first aid kits and other supplies.
Cuomo has blasted the federal response to hurricanes Irma and Maria and has demanded an investigation. The storms knocked out power to the island and caused widespread damage.
Cuomo is scheduled to return to New York on Tuesday.
"The federal government's incompetent and inhumane failure to respond to the crisis in Puerto Rico has been a national disgrace," Gov. Cuomo said. "While the federal government turns its back on Puerto Rico, New Yorkers have stood with our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico since day one of this tragedy, and we will continue to stand with them until the job is done."
Others joining the trip include Assembly members Marcos Crespo and Carmen de La Rosa; senators Martin Dilan and Gustavo Rivera; 1199SEIU President George Gresham; Ken Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association; and Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities.
Lawmakers wrapped up their 2018 session last month without passing regulations for sports betting — but that's not stopping casinos and sports wagering companies from lining up for a piece of the action.
Del Lago Resort announced a deal with DraftKings Inc. last week that would allow the latter company to run sports gambling at its casino in the Finger Lakes. FanDuel, meanwhile, is partnering with Tioga Downs casino in the Southern Tier.
A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned the longstanding ban on sports betting in most states, clearing the way for state-based regulations. But before sports betting is legal in New York, state gambling regulators must approve regulations for casinos — and lawmakers may have to pass a new law authorizing betting online.
Executives at del Lago and Tioga say the agreements with FanDuel and DraftKings, known for their fantasy sports games, are intended to ensure they're ready when and if the state acts.
Wagering at casinos could begin later this year if the state's Gaming Commission passes regulations. Online and mobile sports betting may have to wait for the Legislature to return in January.
"New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators and we are thrilled to partner with del Lago Resort & Casino to offer sports fans a unique and novel sports betting experience, both at a physical sportsbook and on mobile when permitted," said Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings.