New York Online Casino Talks on Agenda with Legislature Back in Session Today

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New York online casino legalization groundwork happened last year so this year, serious discussions will occur with lawmakers who returned at noon today to Albany, promises state Sen. Joseph Addabbo.

Addabbo, D-Ozone Park, told Bonus that he recently talked with a few fellow members of the New York State Legislature. They were eager to find ways to offset billions of dollars of federal aid that won’t arrive this year.

Addabbo told Bonus on Friday:

I think iGaming is just sitting there waiting for us to work on.

The outspoken New York online casino and poker legalization advocate should know. He sponsored the bill that’s sitting in the New York Senate Finance Committee.

While iGaming tax revenue won’t amount to billions, S8412 estimates:

New York State would receive approximately $475 million annually in State tax revenue based upon conservative market estimates. In addition, in the first year of operation, New York would receive approximately $150 million in onetime license fees from casinos, operators, and independent contractors seeking to conduct online interactive casino gaming.

Addabbo told Bonus on Friday that he thinks iGaming revenue will “eclipse” New York’s mobile sports betting revenue.

That’s true in states that offer online casino and sports betting. There, online casino revenues tend to be 70% of the total, Bonus finds.

Looking at just tax revenue, New York online sportsbooks generated $638,489,748 from Jan. 8 to Dec. 25, 2022, according to NY Sports Day. Those operators pay a 51% tax rate, which Addabbo doesn’t believe will change.

With its current language, the New York online casino and poker bill names a 25% tax rate for operators.

The New York Online Casino Bill Needs Reintroduction

Addabbo said all bills, including ones introduced during legislative recesses, must be reintroduced after sessions begin.

S8412 dates back to Feb. 24, 2022, when its sponsor – Addabbo – introduced it to the committee he leads. The proposed legislation moved from the New York State Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee to the Senate Finance Committee on April 25, 2022.

Legislators didn’t vote on the bill last year. So it wasn’t included in the annual budget and didn’t become law.

That’s why he’ll work with lawmakers during the 2023 session and tweak any necessary language to include an approved iGaming bill in this year’s budget, Addabbo tells Bonus.

What Lawmakers May Discuss Before a Vote

The New York Times published several articles on Nov. 20 about US online gambling that caught the attention of industry insiders, regulators, and lawmakers.

New York was no exception.

As a result, on Nov. 30, state Sen. Peter B. Harckham, D-Lewisboro, sponsored S9605. The proposed bill “directs the New York State Gaming Commission to promulgate rules and regulations regarding predatory sportsbook bonuses in mobile sports betting.”

In the bill’s justification, Harckham said he based his language on the Times coverage.

As Addabbo explains, Harckham will have to reintroduce the one-page bill for lawmakers to vote on it this year.

Harckham didn’t immediately return a request for comment from Bonus about whether he planned to reintroduce the measure.

Addabbo told Bonus he spoke with Harckham on Dec. 1 and again when Senate Democrats met up last month in Saratoga. He and Harckham discussed the 12 safety measures and protocols already included in the New York online sports betting law and that the iGaming legislation calls for more.

Harckham’s bill did accomplish its goal, Addabbo tells Bonus:

Its importance is raising awareness.

Ultimately, the Times coverage and Harckham’s bill won’t hurt New York online casino and poker legalization efforts, Addabbo believes.

“I didn’t think they revealed a lot,” Addabbo concludes about the Times coverage.

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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