Reports of the New York iGaming Bill’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

While New York legalizing online casino gambling in 2024 seems less and less likely, the bills designed to do so aren’t dead yet. On March 12, the New York State Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee will meet. Its chairman is state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., who introduced the iGaming and iLottery bill SB8185.

Meanwhile, there’s no hearing scheduled for the companion bill in the Assembly, AB9198.

However, that’s not stopping online gambling industry analysts and pundits from declaring the bills dead.

They’re declaring SB8185 and AB9198 deceased because the iGaming and iLottery bills first weren’t included in January in Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul‘s executive budget. Then, neither made it into the state budget that’s being discussed and will receive a final vote in April.

Plus, they note that the union representing land-based casino workers — the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council (HTC) — is opposed to legalizing New York online casino gambling.

Addabbo, D-Woodhaven, has repeatedly told Bonus during interviews that the best chance for passing the New York online casino gambling and iLottery bill is for it to be included in the state budget. However, unlike the naysayers, he’s added that the state budget can be amended until lawmakers approve it in April.

New York Online Casino Gambling Bills Alive

Both bills are still alive.

Not only is Addabbo leading the March 12 committee meeting, but he’ll also be hosting a Zoom meeting later in the day. The latter is meant to help constituents experiencing problem gambling harms and tell them about “important new gambling legislation.”

In numerous interviews Bonus has conducted with Addabbo, he’s said he will discuss SB8185 with his constituents. So, the note in his March 6 announcement about “important new gambling legislation” may also refer to his iGaming and iLottery bill.

However, the announcement about his Zoom meeting with constituents on March 12 does mention other proposed legislation. Surprisingly, it names a holdover bill from state Sen. Peter B. Harckham, D-Lewisboro, that directs the state gaming regulator to take action it has already taken to address “predatory sportsbook bonuses.”

Addabbo’s March 6 announcement says, in part:

Senator Addabbo understands the positive revenue impact of gambling but is also aware of the unintended consequences it can bring. He is committed to addressing these issues by increasing funding for problem gambling programs. Recently, he introduced legislation to ensure that the program funding is at least 1% of tax revenue or $6 million, whichever is greater. That bill, along with 3 other bills, will be passed by Addabbo’s committee this month in his effort to raise awareness to Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The other bills include requirements for gambling advertisements to include warnings about addiction, expanding the prohibition of individuals under 21 from gambling, and directing the gaming commission to regulate predatory sportsbook bonuses in mobile sports betting.

SB8185 allots $12 million a year to address problem gambling issues. That’s double what the New York mobile sports betting marketplace carves out. It has set aside $6 million a year since the form of betting went live on Jan. 8, 2022.

In January 2024, New York sportsbooks generated $212 million in revenue.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
Back To Top

Get connected with us on Social Media