New York Senator Joe Addabbo is set to reintroduce a bill that could see online casinos legalized in the state during the 2023 legislative session. During a panel discussion at the recent National Council of Legislators from Gaming States conference, advocates estimated that such an initiative could produce total gross gaming revenue of up to $2.1 billion and tax revenue of $428 million for New York, with a proposed tax rate of 20%.
However, despite the apparent benefits, achieving passage of the bill in its current form next year is likely to be a difficult task – even according to Shanna Cassidy, the Senator’s legislative director; who commented that although the current financial situation in NY is better than it has been previously, “you can never have enough money for education”. For now, 2024 appears to be a more realistic goal for seeing legal iGaming come to fruition.
With the successful implementation of sports betting in New York, the potential legalization of online casinos is at the forefront of the conversation. However, this voyage is not without obstacles; unions, competing industry priorities, and major gaming expansion processes are all considered hurdles that legislative stakeholders must address before moving forward with any bill.
Furthermore, the three proposed downstate brick-and-mortar casinos and continued requests from online sports betting operators for a tax reduction (from their previously agreed upon 51% rate) further complicate matters. As such, those who want to see the legalization of online casinos are asking online casino operators to pause attempts to reduce tax rates and focus on iGaming in 2023. Achieving this goal will be difficult without carefully tackling all these different issues.
Senator Addabbo, who is in charge of state gaming in New York, makes it his mission to start tackling potential addiction issues that online casinos may bring with their release into the online casino market. His goal is to include specific language in the 2023 Internet Gaming Bill that will address these concerns directly and head-on. Prompted by his thought process, Addabbo submitted an initial idea that would limit access to iGaming for customers across the state.
This would effectively act as a form of protection and ensure fewer individuals are subject to potentially unwanted effects of gambling or even those who could be vulnerable. Starting in January, dialogues between Addabbo and other members like Assembly counterpart Gary Pretlow are scheduled to take place on this topic. As discussions move forward and regulations become firmer, we can hope for a safe environment with regard to online casinos when they eventually launch in New York state.