As promised, state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. stopped talking about his New York online casino bill after it wasn’t included in the $233 billion state budget. On March 17, Addabbo published a statement about the budget that the New York State Legislature must approve by April 1, and he didn’t once mention iGaming.
Addabbo, D-Ozone Park, and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon, made that promise of silence to gambling industry leaders on March 7. Addabbo said he and Pretlow, sponsors of New York online casino legalization measures S4856 and A3634, respectively, needed their help to convince fellow lawmakers to pass the bills.
That March 7 roundtable discussion included an outline from Addabbo for how attendees could advocate for online casino, poker, and iLottery legalization.
However, Addabbo also told them that if the New York online casino bill didn’t make it into the state budget, he and Pretlow would stop discussing the bills during 2023. Most bills that become law in New York are included in the state budget.
This week, Addabbo and Pretlow’s bills weren’t included in the One-House Budget Resolution.
Meanwhile, the bill’s failure means New York won’t receive the estimated $1 billion a year in tax revenue from its 30.5% online casino tax rate.
Addabbo Is Still a Legal Gambling Advocate
Indubitably, the New York online casino bill loss is unlikely to cause Addabbo to stop working on educating his fellow lawmakers about the benefits of legal gambling expansion. The loudest iGaming advocate spent much of 2022 doing exactly that after that year’s iGaming bill failed.
Relatedly, Addabbo’s statement did mention legal gambling expansion that’s included in the budget.
Addabbo said in the statement his office distributed at 3 p.m. on Friday:
The Belmont Racetrack project will create over 4,000 union jobs, add to state revenue, and provide a more modern, environmentally-friendly, safer track with additional green space.
Roundtable Attendee Weighs in on Bill Failure
About 30 gambling industry leaders attended the March 7 roundtable discussion. Addabbo and Pretlow hosted it in Manhattan.
One of them, Howard Glaser, provided his opinion today about Addabbo’s budget statement.
Glaser is the global head of government affairs and legislative counsel at Light and Wonder (LNW).
He said to Bonus:
The industry made great progress over the past few weeks in educating lawmakers and winning support for iGaming. That work has laid the groundwork for adoption in NY. I don’t think there is any question that NY will be one of the next major states to authorize iGaming, whether or not that happens as part of New York’s current, but very short, budget process.
The New York Bill’s Loss Leaves Few Active US Measures
Iowa and New Hampshire are the only states remaining with active online casino legalization measures.
Meanwhile, Maryland General Assembly’s online casino effort stalled in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on Feb. 15.
Subsequently, Indiana’s iGaming bill died in committee on Feb. 21.
The next day, Kentucky lawmakers introduced an esports and online sports betting bill that usurped the sports betting and online poker bills that had been introduced. HB551 is a Senate vote away from becoming law, considering Gov. Andy Beshear already said he’d sign it.
On March 10, the Internet Gaming Act (IGA) proposals were rerouted to disused Illinois General Assembly committees.
In New Hampshire, state Sen. Timothy P. Lang Sr. tells Bonus he believes his colleagues will approve SB104 on March 30. From there, it requires House approval and the governor’s signature before becoming law.
What Addabbo Is Talking About
As for New York, Addabbo spent part of the day wishing his late father, US Rep. Joseph Patrick Addabbo Sr., a happy birthday on this St. Patrick’s Day. His father’s 1986 funeral mass was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.
Addabbo’s Facebook post today about his family’s celebration of his father’s life also didn’t mention iGaming.