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Barclays Center lobbying for approval of sports betting in New York

SPO-ARENA-BARCLAYS CENTER Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

The Nets and the Barclays Center’s arena operating company have long considered sports betting a possibility for Brooklyn. For example, they’ve trademarked “Brooklyn Gaming” and “Bet on Brooklyn,” both of which would work nicely for in-house betting.

And before he and Joe Tsai had a parting of the ways in November 2019, CEO David Levy laid out his vision for gambling at Flatbush and Atlantic, suggesting once New York State and City approve betting at arenas and stadiums, Barclays could have a sports book near its entrance and mobile sports betting from arena seats using 5G.

Now, Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park reports, Brooklyn Events Center, the arena operating company, has been putting its money down on the issue, lobbying both the state and city. Both are considering legalizing sports betting to alleviate the huge deficits rolled up during the pandemic. Governor Mario Cuomo said earlier this week that sports betting could bring hundreds of millions of dollars into state coffers. New Jersey’s sports betting operation, in fact, is booming, recently surpassing Nevada in revenue.

Indeed, Oder found lobbying records from Brooklyn Events Center, showing lobbying began last year...

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report

Accompanying documentation shows lobbyists are being paid $7,500 monthly and have been at work since last spring. Oder reports as well that “Madison Square Garden is also lobbying on ‘gaming,’ as well as other issues.”

In addition to state and city entities, the Nets and Knicks would need to get approval from the NBA, but with league revenues hurting with no fans in attendance, that doesn’t seem like it would be much of an issue. And the prospect of gambling might lure more fans to live events.