Addabbo Calls May 14 Meeting About New York Legal Gambling Expansion

So far, his New York online poker bill isn’t on the agenda for the May 14 meeting state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. scheduled. However, considering he’s the chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee and SB9226 is his proposal, the body will probably discuss that form of legal gambling expansion.

Addabbo, D-Woodhaven, introduced SB9226 on May 7. The New York online poker bill allows up to 10 sites and taxes operators at 15%.

Meanwhile, his iGaming and iLottery bill — SB8185 — also sits in the committee and is absent from the agenda. However, despite its comparatively lengthy presence before lawmakers, the New York State Legislature hasn’t embraced the online casino, poker, and iLottery measure he proposed on Jan. 11. Opposition from the state’s retail casino workers union, the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council (HTC), may play a role in that stagnation.

Some of the nine bills on the May 14 agenda pertain to legal gambling expansion, but most amend existing laws. For any of the bills to become law, legislators must approve them by the time they adjourn on June 6. Then, they require Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul‘s signature.

New York Online Poker Proposal

Addabbo’s online poker bill appears to address an upcoming deficit the senator believes will arrive after this fiscal year. In several interviews with Bonus, Addabbo said he wants to expand legal gambling in 2023 so the funds to address those shortfalls begin arriving in 2024.

SB9226 forecasts online poker will generate $2 million to $5 million annually in tax revenue. Plus, the $10 million, 10-year license fee may bring in as much as $100 million if 10 operators sign on.

State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow introduced AB1380 on Jan. 3, proposing the same tax rate and license fee.

Addabbo’s bill suggests:

To authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which requires a significant degree of skill, specifically ‘Omaha Hold’em’ and ‘Texas Hold’em.’

Pretlow’s bill emphasizes online poker requires skill rather than “luck.”

That particular language is controversial in the gambling community because “skill games” manufacturers use the difference between skill and chance in their legal fights.

Meanwhile, if Addabbo and Pretlow’s bills succeed, New York may become like Nevada. Nevada’s only legal iGaming is online poker.

Sports Betting on the May 14 Agenda

The two bills that may get the most attention during the May 14 meeting concern daily fantasy sports (DFS) and mobile sports betting.

On April 11, Addabbo introduced SB9044 to regulate DFS. From Florida to Michigan and beyond, states have been tightening rules on that betting style for the past couple of years.

However, the bill with the most significant price tag may be the 3% of mobile sports tax revenue state Sen. Jamaal T. Bailey wants to redirect to problem gambling, youth team sports, and youth sports and education funding. Bailey, D-Mount Vernon, allocated 1% for each of the funds in SB9236. Addabbo is co-sponsoring the bill introduced on May 7.

On Jan. 8, 2022, New York online sportsbooks launched and began paying the state’s 51% tax rate. At the moment, New York requires $6 million annually to go toward problem gambling funds.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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