Not dead, not really alive
It looks like it could be another year without online casinos and online poker in New York. At least I know how. Although state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. introduced a bill last week to legalize online casino, poker and lottery gaming, none of it was included in Gov. Kathy Hochul's budget plan released Tuesday.
That doesn't mean Addabbo's bill is dead, but it's not good. Earlier this month, Addabbo said Bonuses that getting the governor's support was his top priority, and it looks like he couldn't quite get that done without the online gaming items in his budget.
He told it Bonuses this week that he still plans to fight for his bill. However, at the same time, he indicated that if the bill was not included in the state budget, he might stop in April, since he himself did not have enough power.
In SB8185, Addabbo says New York state would receive about $1 billion in tax revenue each year, “based on conservative market estimates.” He also estimates that one-time royalties would be $150 million.
Under Addabbo's bill, iGaming operators – up to 20 of them – would be taxed at 30.5% and hit with a $2 million royalty fee. New York is facing a significant budget deficit, so the possibility of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in additional tax revenue may be too attractive to even consider.
Other games of chance are making progress
Unlike online casinos, poker and lotteries, New York lawmakers have legalized sports betting – the industry began operating in the state two years ago. As you might expect, it was a big deal in one of the most populous states in the country. Total sports betting revenue was $2.1 billion in November 2023, a record for the state. December 2023 was slightly lower at $2.04 billion.
Regardless of what happens with Addabbo's bill, New York is expanding gambling. Gaming and hospitality companies and their investment partners are currently competing for three licenses to build casinos in New York State (read: New York City).
Existing slot parlors in Yonkers and Queens are expected to receive two of the licenses, giving them the opportunity to expand their facilities into much larger casino resorts. Should that happen, a coveted license would remain. Famous playing fields include a Jay-Z-backed Times Square casino, a casino and entertainment complex owned by New York Mets owner Steve Cohen next to the Mets' Citi Field, a Bally's casino at the former Trump Golf Links in Ferry Point (now ). (owned by Bally's and renamed) in the Bronx and a Las Vegas Sands Casino on Long Island.