Addabbo Introduces Solo New York Online Poker Bill

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. introduced a New York online poker bill on May 7. SB9226 appears to be companion legislation to AB1380, sponsored by his counterpart, state Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow. Poker may be somewhat less controversial than their online casino proposal. It will nonetheless be a challenge for the New York State Legislature to approve both bills by its adjournment on June 6.

If the chambers of the legislature manage to approve the poker bill, it will still need Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul‘s signature to become law.

Hopes for any form of iGaming legislation to pass seem remote. This is several years into Addabbo pushing for online casinos, without success.

The governor hasn’t offered any support for the proposal, failing to include it in her executive budget in January. The legislature likewise opted not to look to online poker, casino, or iLottery revenue for its now-approved state budget.

However, Addabbo told Bonus on April 24 that when the legislature reconvened on May 6, he’d look for ways to offset what he sees as a looming budget deficit after this fiscal year. Supporting Pretlow’s poker-only bill may be a last-ditch attempt to find a compromise.

SB9226 includes a 15% tax rate on online poker operators. That’s far lower than the iGaming and iLottery bill’s tax rate of 30.5%, which Addabbo believes would yield $2 billion in revenue. It’s also lower than the 51% tax rate on the mobile sportsbooks that began taking bets from New Yorkers on Jan. 8, 2022.

Online sportsbooks have generated more than $1.8 billion in tax revenue for state coffers since their inception, according to Legal Sports Report. Bonus and LSR are Catena Media publications.

New York Online Poker Prospects

Addabbo, D-Woodhaven, and Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon, now have New York online poker bills sitting in the committees they head. Addabbo’s measure sits in the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. Pretlow’s resides in the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Racing and Wagering.

Neither have bill hearings scheduled.

Both still face opposition from the retail casino workers union. On April 23, Bhav Tibrewal renewed his comments to Bonus that the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council (HTC) is against iGaming. Tibrewal is HTC’s political director.

Gambling industry analysts believe the cannibalization argument unions have been employing resulted in no bills passing in any state so far in 2024.

If it does succeed, Addabbo’s online poker bill authorizes 10 licenses, one more than the current online sportsbook marketplace includes.

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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