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New York iGaming Bill to Be Introduced Before January

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Oct 19, 2023 · 8:40 AM PDT

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Sep 17, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) leaves the field after defeating the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
  • Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. revealed he will be introducing the framework of a New York iGaming bill before January
  • Addabbo ceased iGaming discussions over the summer but will start work again for 2024
  • Believes iGaming revenue can help with predicted New York budgetary shortfall

New York iGaming is back, but it needs early support from Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) if it stands any chance of approval in 2024.

Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. (D-15) revealed to Sports Betting Dime that he plans to “introduce the draft” of a New York iGaming and iLottery bill before January to prepare for potential legalization discussions during the state’s upcoming budgetary season. The bill will seek to legalize online casino games, such as slots and table games, and allow New Yorkers to play lottery games like Powerball from a phone or computer.

New York needs new revenue streams, Addabbo said. There is a predicted $9 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget, and with no federal help on the way, iGaming could help to bridge that gap. But for any shot at a bill to be passed, the Senator noted it needs early interest from Gov. Hochul to become a reality.

Gov. Kathy Hochul Holds iGaming Fate In Hands

Addabbo Jr. will begin working on a draft of the iGaming and iLottery bill over the next several weeks and plans to introduce the bill before January.  However, for any chance at an iGaming bill to be approved, Addabbo said Gov. Hochul must show early support for iGaming in her Fiscal Year 2025 budget message.

“We know we need revenue in New York. Here we are, we’re on the cusp of an iGaming and iLottery bill, and all I need is the Governor in her budget to merely say seven words or so. ‘We’ll look and explore the possibilities of iGaming and iLottery.’ No other details,” Addabbo Jr. said.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut currently have robust and successful iGaming programs, Addabbo said, and New York is losing revenue over its borders as people flock to those states to participate.

Projections show that New York could see a robust iGaming market, with over $1 billion in potential tax revenue for a full year, he said.

“I’m not typically into projections, but it’s not unreasonable to think we could reach $1 billion in iGaming revenue given that in one year we did over $800 million in mobile sports betting revenue. The population that does iGaming is certainly much greater than mobile sports betting. One billion or more in revenue for New York is certainly conceivable,” Addabbo said.

Addabbo Jr. introduced an iGaming bill earlier this year, but it never received traction in the state. His iGaming bill, S4856, attempted to legalize online casino gaming, including slots, table games, and live dealer games. The bill included a 30.5% iGaming tax rate. Most states average between 15% to 18% for their iGaming tax rates.

Gov. Hochul did not include iGaming revenues in her state budget and the bill did not move forward.

Potential New York Sports Betting Expansion?

In addition to an iGaming bill, Addabbo Jr. noted that New York should absolutely be considered as a “growth market” for gaming. If a credible argument can be made that an increase to the number of online sports betting operators will lead to additional online sports betting revenue, while maintaining the New York sports betting status as a top market, the state will have to be open to ideas, he said.

“We’ll have to be open to the idea. We can never, as a state or a legislature, sit back and say we’ve done mobile sports betting, it’s very successful, we’re done. It’s always evolving. To keep up with other states and give New Yorkers the best product they deserve, I think we should always  be open to additional operators. That’s something myself and (Assemblyman) Gary Pretlow always envisioned, having additional operators,” Addabbo Jr. said.

Taking a deep look into expanding online sport betting offerings, such as allowing markets on future bets on MVP, Rookie of the Year, or other prop bets, is also something that must be done in the next year as players have overwhelmingly requested these markets, he said.

Additionally, a solution must be in place when a New York online sports betting operator is looking to cease operations in the state or sell its sports betting license.

“The Gaming Commission, working potentially in tandem with the legislature, should figure out when a license comes into play, or is not being used or wants to be sold, there should be a mechanism for this to happen. If there’s not, the legislature should be able to step in an create the mechanism,” he said.

WynnBET, one of the nine current New York online sports betting operators, announced in August it would evaluate its New York sports betting operations moving forward and would cease operations in eight other states.

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