February 19, 2024 3 min read


New York iGaming Legalization Faces Opposition from the Retail Sector

Brick-and-mortar casino employees expressed their concerns about the potential negative impact of online gambling on the retail sector

The legalization of online gambling in New York has been a hot topic for years. Sen. Joseph Addabbo, one of the supporters of iGaming, has been pushing for its legalization since 2019. Despite his previous proposals which have not gained enough traction to be passed into law, earlier this year, he filed his latest proposal for iLottery and iGaming in New York. Introducing Senate Bill 8185 earlier this month, the Senator stayed true to his word after hinting about such plans last year.

The iGaming and iLottery proposal seeks to further expand the gambling options available for New Yorkers. Since the state legalized and launched its online sports betting market, it surpassed records that have taken years to set in other jurisdictions. In fact, January was another record-breaking month for online sports betting.

Just like online sports betting, Sen. Addabbo seeks to legalize iGaming with the state reaping all the benefits that come along. The legalization of the activity will not only generate tax revenue but provide New Yorkers with platforms that are licensed to offer such services thus reducing the share of the black market.

Despite the benefits, not everyone agrees with the proposed iGaming legalization. The initiative caught the attention of the Hotel & Gaming Trades Council union with workers from Resorts World casino voicing their concerns about the potential negative impact of online gambling.

iGaming Opponents Warn the Activity May Hurt Brick-and-Mortar Casinos

According to a report by the New York Post, close to 700 brick-and-mortar casino employees opposed the iGaming proposal, citing concerns about the future of their employment. “We find it appalling that you are pushing legislation that would hurt workers like us and our industry in order to benefit a handful of companies who are seeking massive profits at our expense,” reads a letter sent by the Hotel & Gaming Trades Council union.

In their letter, the workers spoke about the proceeds from gambling at retail casinos, saying that such activities help support not only dealers but hotel workers, cooks, servers, bartenders and more related jobs. The Hotel & Gaming Trades Council union’s letter explained that if New Yorkers can gamble from their smartphones, they won’t visit a brick-and-mortar casino, adding that the money gambled “would go straight into the pockets of gaming companies, rather than to support the livelihoods of thousands of New Yorkers who support the state’s gaming industry.”

But Sen. Addabbo disagreed with the workers’ concerns. He explained that the legalization of online gambling is only a matter of time highlighting that the legal iGaming market can generate between $800 million and $1 billion in revenue annually.

Moreover, Sen. Addabbo said that based on studies, the online gambling sector would not reduce the work for the retail casino industry. Finally, he said that an estimated $25 million per year would be dedicated toward protecting jobs in the casino industry while at the same time, iGaming dealers would be a part of the state’s union.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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