Sen. Addabbo Kills 2023 Online Casino Legislation to Start Over in 2024

New York will be back in the conversation as an iGaming expansion candidate this year, but the effort may take a little while to build steam. Sen. Joseph Addabbo, the foremost proponent of online casinos in the legislature, has gotten the ball rolling by officially killing last year’s S4856 so he can start anew.

New York’s legislative sessions last for two years, so when the session resumed on Jan. 3, S4856 returned to the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, where it had stalled in 2023.

On Jan. 5, Addabbo recommitted the bill with the enacting clause stricken. What that means literally is that the following words have been removed:

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows…

Under state law, no bill can become law unless it begins with that phrase. Its removal, therefore, signals the end of the effort to make that happen.

The New York City Bar Association’s Legislative Process Glossary defines the striking of an enacting clause as follows:

When the main sponsor of a bill removes their support for the bill and the title has been deleted. Bill is considered dead unless another legislator decides to sponsor the bill.

Addabbo has clearly stated that he intends to renew his push in 2024. So, withdrawing his support for the existing bill doesn’t mean giving up. It means that he believes that some changes will be required if there’s to be any hope of succeeding this time around.

In other words, “out with the old, in with the new.”

Now, we must wait to see what “new” will look like. Sen. Addabbo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

What Will Change in 2024?

Passing an online gambling bill is a tricky balancing act. There are always many stakeholders to appease.

In the case of online casino legislation, the usual sticking points are fears about increased problem gambling and the “cannibalization” of retail casino business.

Expect Addabbo’s new legislation, when it arrives, to contain refinements around those topics.

We already know that he and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said last year that they were considering including $25 million in funding for retail casino workers’ unions. The unions were among the most vocal opponents of the 2023 effort.

More funding for responsible gambling efforts might also be in the cards. Other moving parts likely to see a tweak include the tax rate and licensing process, depending on what concerns Addabbo and his peers have heard from stakeholders since last year.

About the Author

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon is an online gambling industry analyst with nearly ten years of experience. He currently serves as Casino News Managing Editor for Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media Network. Other gambling news sites he has contributed to include PlayUSA and Online Poker Report, and his writing has been cited in The Atlantic.
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