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New York's iGaming Prospects Falter with State's Budget Proposal

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul's 2024 executive budget, released Tuesday, omitted any provisions for legalizing online casinos, a move that has disappointed proponents of expanding gambling options in the state. This setback comes despite the growing popularity of online gambling and a thriving legal sports betting market in the US in recent years.

Addabbo Not Giving Up

Senator Joseph Addabbo has introduced legislation (SB 8185) to legalize online casinos in New York, but Governor Hochul has yet to express support for the measure. The proposed bill, similar to one introduced in 2023, would allow mobile sportsbooks, commercial and tribal casinos already operating in New York, and video lottery terminal companies to offer online casinos with table games, slots and poker.

If enacted, Addabbo's bill would impose a 30.5% tax on online casino revenue and require online operators to pay a $2 million licensing fee for a 10-year license. The senator highlights the potential for increased tax revenue, job creation and competition for existing casinos as benefits of legalizing online gambling.

Despite the proposed bill, the lack of support from Governor Hochul and the absence of online gambling provisions in the executive budget indicate that the state may not be ready for a significant expansion of gambling. However, advocates for online gambling are not giving up hope. They are planning to continue lobbying for legislative action in the coming months. They, along with Senator Addabbo, will need to try to convince other state lawmakers to support the initiative before the budget is approved in a couple of months.

iGaming Continues to Gain Strength

Online gambling has gained popularity in recent years, with many states and countries legalizing and regulating it. Proponents in New York argue that legalizing online casinos would bring several advantages, including increased tax revenue for the state, job creation, and enhanced competition for existing casinos.

Opponents, on the other hand, raise concerns about the potential for increased problem gambling, fraud, and social problems associated with online gambling. They believe that legalizing online casinos could negatively impact the state's social fabric and lead to further addiction among vulnerable populations.

The debate over online gambling legalization in New York is likely to continue, with advocates and opponents presenting their respective views to the state legislature. Senator Addabbo's continued efforts and the potential economic benefits could sway the decision in favor of legalization. Still, the state's stance on responsible gambling practices will play a crucial role in the outcome.

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