State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. sent out New York online casino meeting invitations for a March 7 roundtable discussion. He’s hoping the informal talk with lawmakers will ensure S4856, a bill legalizing iGaming, makes it into April’s annual budget.
Legislators approve the annual budget in April, which tends to include most bills that will become law that year.
Addabbo, D-Ozone Park, emailed the meeting invitations today. He’s told Bonus it will be more informal than the joint public hearing on the status of New York online sportsbooks. For instance, the March 7 meeting won’t be recorded, while the Jan. 31 hearing was live-streamed on YouTube.
This March 7 meeting may be Addabbo’s last chance to gather support from legislators for legalizing online casino gambling in New York during 2023. That’s because iGaming wasn’t included in Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul‘s executive budget that she announced on Feb. 1.
Hope Remains for 2023 Online Casino Legalization
The iGaming bill Addabbo introduced on Feb. 15 hasn’t yet neared the finish line, but it hasn’t fallen. Before S4856 can become law, it needs to pass in the Senate; its companion bill, A3634, must be approved in the Assembly; and Hochul has to sign it into law.
That lengthy process is why Addabbo tells Bonus analysts’ estimates that New York iGaming will generate $1 billion a year via a 30.5% tax rate won’t happen until 2024, even if it becomes law in 2023.
Meanwhile, online gambling insiders aren’t expecting iGaming legalization during 2023. Indiana’s online casino bill died in committee on Feb. 21, and Kentucky’s online poker proposal hasn’t moved since Feb. 23. In the Bluegrass State, more eyes are on a sports betting-only bill, HB551.
However, bills are pending in Illinois, New Hampshire, and New York. So additional US online casino states in 2023 may join the most recent marketplace launch – in Connecticut on Oct. 19, 2021.
New York Online Casino Meeting Won’t Be a Hearing
The invitation lists for the Jan. 31 and March 7 gatherings weren’t visible to recipients.
However, that’s where the similarities may end between the Jan. 31 sports betting joint public hearing and the March 7 iGaming roundtable.
That four-hour-long meeting on Jan. 31 in Albany about the 1-year-old sports betting marketplace included testimony from leaders of DraftKings and FanDuel. They told lawmakers they thought the 51% tax rate on mobile sportsbooks was too high, and they requested that legislators legalize iGaming.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins testified that if his company didn’t get some relief from the 51% tax rate, DraftKings Sportsbook would have to offer New Yorkers “worse odds.”
Meanwhile, DraftKings (DraftKings 17,23 -3,58%) did reduce Connecticut online casino promotional spending by 84% in January in Connecticut.
Decreasing product quality, as well as lowering spending on marketing and promotions, may impact revenue. FanDuel Group President Christian Genetski agreed with Robins on Jan. 31 that FanDuel Sportsbook may have to cut promotional expenditures.
If that happens, Hochul’s 2024 announcement about the second year of sports betting dollars filling state coffers may not mirror the first year’s $909 million in tax revenue and license fees.
However, adding legal New York online casino gambling might change that revenue picture, considering eight of New York’s nine sportsbook operators also have online casino products.
Bonus finds many online sports bettors also play casino games and vice versa. So adding online casino gambling may not only increase tax revenue through iGaming but also add to online sportsbook wagers.
Consequently, Addabbo’s March 7 New York online casino meeting matters on many levels.