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The New York online casino bill S4856, introduced by outspoken legal gambling expansion advocate state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., debuted in his committee on Feb. 15. It calls for a 30.5% tax rate on iGaming, which is much lower than the 51% rate on the existing mobile sportsbook marketplace.

DraftKings and FanDuel leaders recently complained to lawmakers about the latter. Both urged legislators to reduce the online sports betting tax rate and legalize iGaming.

Addabbo, D-Ozone Park, was unavailable when Bonus asked for a comment on his proposed legislation.

The chairman of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering has said the online casino and poker gambling bill he proposed last year debuted too late to be successfully included in the fiscal year budget. Addabbo presented it on Feb. 24, 2022, and lawmakers approved the budget in April.

It’s unclear if this New York online casino bill, S4856, also arrived too late to be passed in 2023 with the $227 billion budget.

Meanwhile, Addabbo’s counterpart in the New York State Legislature – state Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon – has two iGaming bills pending. So far, there’s no movement on either bill. Pretlow introduced A1380 on Jan. 17, which would legalize online poker, and A3634, on Feb. 3, to legalize online casinos.

However, Pretlow and Addabbo tend to work in concert on legal gambling expansion plans, and Pretlow’s online casino bill differs from the one Addabbo introduced on Feb. 15. Pretlow’s A3634 outlines a 25% tax rate on operators.

Addabbo’s New York Online Casino Bill

Addabbo’s bill talks about legalizing “interactive gaming wagering,” which does include online casino games and may include online poker. However, the language doesn’t specifically address poker.

Like Pretlow’s New York online casino measure, Addabbo’s proposed legislation calls for $11 million to go toward problem gambling efforts.

Also, both bills outline a one-time $10 million license fee for independent, branded online gambling operators. Retail casinos would see a $2 million, one-time licensing fee from the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).

Addabbo’s bill says any live dealer games offered by online casino sites must emanate from a live dealer studio in New York. Also, operators will need to apply in order to be chosen for online casino licenses. On July 1, the NYSGC will request those applications.

If the commission issuing a request for applications from would-be gambling license holders sounds familiar, it’s because a board appointed by the body did so on Jan. 3. The New York Gaming Facility Board (NYGFB) is considering which entities should receive three Downstate New York retail casino gaming licenses.

While this is a lot of legal gambling expansion talk for one state, New York interests the online gambling industry because it became the No. 1 revenue-generating state in its first year of online sports betting. From Jan. 8, 2022, to Jan. 8, 2023, Gov. Kathy C. Hochul said New York received $909 million in tax revenue and license fees from mobile sportsbooks.

So New York’s 20 million residents may continue to see news like this.

About the Author
Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is the lead writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Fletcher's newspaper career started at Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. She covers breaking news from Philadelphia, as needed. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report.

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