As promised, state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. introduced his 2024 New York online casino bill on Jan. 11. He’d told Bonus on Jan. 8 that a new legal online casino measure was forthcoming, and SB8185 is already sitting in the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee that he heads.
The next step for the New York online casino, poker, and lottery bill is a committee hearing.
Chances are, that meeting will be crowded. The online gambling industry has eagerly awaited the bill sponsored by Addabbo, D-Woodhaven. That’s partly because New York’s 20 million residents would represent the most populous state to legalize online casino gambling. However, there’s also the consideration that New York’s status as the No. 1 online sports betting revenue generator may mean the same will be true of its iGaming receipts.
Currently, the No. 1 online casino and poker revenue-generating state is Pennsylvania, which houses 13 million people.
Meanwhile, in a show of that anticipation, the Sports Betting Alliance (SBA) recently launched a marketing campaign urging New Yorkers to show their elected officials that they support legalizing iGaming. Bet on NY provides a pre-filled form and information about the possible benefits of legalizing online casino and poker gambling.
SBA’s members include BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics Sportsbook, and FanDuel. All four of the online gambling operators already offer online sports betting in New York.
In addition to proposing legal online casino gambling, Addabbo’s 11-page-long bill includes adding an online offering to the New York Lottery.
Legal Online Casino Gambling Bill Details
Addabbo pointed out that this proposed legislation is just the beginning of the discussions he’ll be having with lawmakers and stakeholders.
Legal Online Casino Games
The iGaming bill offers definitions:
“Authorized interactive game” means: any internet-based version or substantial equivalent of a table game, slot machine constituting spinning reels, poker tournament, or any other game as set forth in [another section of the bill] and approved by the [state gaming] commission, including, but not limited to live-dealer games …
In New York, an in-state live dealer studio will serve the online casino live dealer games. In other states, the primary provider of that service is Evolution (Evolution AB (publ) 7,56 +1,61%). Other US iGaming croupier providers are Playtech (Playtech PLC 460,20 -0,13%), Light and Wonder (Light & Wonder Inc 93,65 +2,91%), and Stakelogic.
Online Casino Skins
One of the first items spelled out in SB8185 is that the bill creating legal online casino gambling won’t add sportsbook skins. Nine sportsbooks have been authorized to take legal sports bets in New York for the past two years.
That said, Addabbo’s bill is generous about the number of online casino and poker skins that may be available if the bill becomes law.
In his Jan. 8 interview with Bonus, he estimated the total will be 20 sites.
The details in the bill he introduced on Jan. 11 show that license providers can be from current retail casinos, racetracks, and tribes. The entities can partner with one online gambling operator each.
Also, three untethered iGaming operators can apply.
The former will pay a $2 million license fee, and the untethered operators will owe $10 million, according to SB8185.
Where Tax Dollars Will Go
All operators will have a tax rate of 30.5% of gross gaming revenue (GGR).
With a couple of exceptions, all tax revenue will enter the state lottery fund for education aid that benefits New York State’s K-12 public schools.
Those exceptions are $11 million pulled out annually for “problem gambling education and treatment purposes.”
Also, at least $25 million a year will be spent on “employee training, responsible gaming training and education, health, and development” of gaming employees who are union members.
Addabbo told Bonus this training funding is meant to address fears that iGaming will pull revenue and jobs from brick-and-mortar casinos.
Speaking of which, all online casino gambling operators must enter agreements with unions.
Plus, the untethered operators will have the following requirements:
Eligible applicants for the competitive bidding process shall abide by an affirmative action program of equal opportunity, approved by the commission, whereby the applicant establishes specific goals for the utilization of minorities, women, and veterans in full-time, permanent jobs at such interactive gaming licensee’s place of operations.
The Fine Print
Here’s the fine print:
- Gamblers must be 21 or older, as is the case for New York sports betting.
- Operators can’t mislead online gamblers in their advertising about their chances of “winning.”
- If a gambler uses a credit card, the account will be limited to $2,500 a year through that card. Operators can’t offer lines of credit. The bill doesn’t limit spending from other forms of payment.
- Once an online casino gambler reaches a “lifetime” deposit of $2,500, the account holder will experience the following:
The interactive gaming licensee shall prevent any wagering until the patron acknowledges that the account holder has met the deposit threshold and may elect to establish responsible gaming limits or close the account, and the account holder has received disclosures from the mobile sports wagering operator concerning problem gambling resources. Once a patron has reached their lifetime deposit, such patron shall annually make the acknowledgement [sic] required by this subdivision.
Finally, if the Senate approves SB8185, it will move on to the Assembly. If that body votes in favor of the measure, it will head to Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul to be signed into law.