New York State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. renewed his annual vow to fight for legal online casino gambling in 2024. The chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering emailed Bonus an announcement saying so on June 22.
Addabbo, D-Ozone Park, had his press secretary email Bonus on Thursday:
Next year, Senator Addabbo has his sights on safely and professionally expanding upon the state’s gaming accomplishments by bringing more mobile betting to New York State, such as with iGaming and iLottery.
His promise to advocate for expanded legal gambling options in New York is a statement Bonus has come to expect from Addabbo.
The senator is such an outspoken proponent of legal online casino gambling, it’s difficult to remember when Addabbo wasn’t synonymous with it. He’s sponsored online casino and poker bills since he took the helm of his committee.
So Bonus looked up accounts from Online Poker Report, which ceased publication last year. OPR was a Catena Media brand, and Bonus still is.
In April 2018, Eric Ramsey wrote for OPR about Addabbo succeeding state Sen. John Bonacic as chairman after Bonacic left office:
We don’t know nearly as much about his views on gaming. Although he does tend to vote with Bonacic in committee, NY online poker players should be rooting especially hard for legislation to pass under Bonacic’s watch.
Legal Online Casino Gambling a 2024 Priority
On Thursday, Addabbo made the vow to move forward on legal online casino gambling when he acknowledged a milestone for New York’s sports betting marketplace.
Sportsbooks launched in the Empire State on Jan. 8, 2022. Between then and May 31, 2023, Addabbo said online sports betting’s generated $1 billion in tax revenue “for education.”
Having an additional $1 billion from our nation-leading mobile sports betting business to help our students get the best education possible is a tremendous milestone. We should continue to build upon these solid revenue-generating opportunities in order to make many additional improvements to our state’s gaming ventures and addiction services. I look forward to greater results with the future eventual arrival of iGaming and iLottery in New York.
In a January 2023 announcement, Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul lumped in sportsbook fees with tax revenue to declare the marketplace’s first year yielded $909 million.
Problem Gambling Funding Should Go Hand-in-Hand
Last year, Hochul vetoed a bill that would’ve set up and funded what the legislation named the Problem Gambling Advisory Council (PGAC). This year’s bill didn’t make it to Hochul’s desk.
So in the 2023 online casino bill, Addabbo proposed $12 million a year to fund problem gambling efforts. That’s twice the $6 million outlined in the sports betting law.
In Thursday’s announcement, Addabbo renewed his advocacy for allocating funds for problem gambling programs.