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New York debates the legality of mobile sports betting

Draft Kings screen shot of NFL $1.5 million prize
The fantasy sports website DraftKings. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, sports betting has either arrived or is likely coming soon. So how will you actually place a bet? On your phone? Or will you need to do your gambling inside of a sports book? Lawmakers are debating that right now.

What's happening: In New York, state delegates are at a standstill on whether bettors in New York should be allowed to bet using a mobile device.

  • The current law states that "an operator shall accept wagers on sports events only from persons physically present in the sports wagering lounge."
  • Yes, but: The servers where mobile bets are received are in the casinos, so isn't that the same thing? That's what legislators in favor of mobile betting are arguing.

The big picture: What New York does here could set a precedent for every other state. Not sure where your state stands in terms of sports betting legislation? Here's a handy tracker.

P.S. ... Even if mobile betting becomes the norm in your state, you won't be able to place a wager from, say, your beach house a few states over.

  • That's still illegal thanks to the Wire Act, which was originally created to stop mob members from betting on rigged sporting events from across the country.

Go deeper: A 1960s anti-Mafia law complicates legal sports betting