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Silvia Pavlof December 7, 2023 3 min read
New York Legislators Advocate for iGaming and iLottery to Boost Finances
Their appeal comes on the heels of the staggering success of mobile sports betting, which, in its inaugural year, contributed nearly $1 billion in tax revenue – the highest among all states
Two influential New York lawmakers, State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, argued that the state must embrace legal iGaming and online lottery games to secure over $1 billion annually in new tax revenue.
New York Lawmakers Say iGaming and iLottery Will Bridge $8B Budget Deficit
As the state grapples with a looming budget deficit projected at $4.3 billion for 2024 and a staggering $8 billion for 2025, Addabbo and Pretlow believe that expanding revenue streams through the legalization of iGaming and iLottery is a strategic move.
Drawing parallels to the triumph of mobile sports betting in an opinion piece published in media outlet City & State New York, the legislators are optimistic that these additional platforms could generate substantial funds for education aid and sports programs for underserved children.
Both lawmakers, who chair their respective gaming committees, are actively pursuing legislation to authorize iGaming and iLottery in New York. The proposed bill mirrors the framework implemented for mobile sports betting, ensuring a safe and regulated market. They estimate an annual revenue boost of $1 billion, supplementing the income derived from mobile sports betting.
The legislators emphasized that neighboring states, including New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, have already embraced iGaming, reporting increased tax revenue without adversely affecting traditional businesses like casinos and convenience stores that sell lottery tickets.
iGaming and iLottery Legalization Advocates Prioritize Consumer Protection
Addabbo and Pretlow further argue that the legalization of iGaming and iLottery is not only financially lucrative but also offers better consumer protection by preventing underage access and addressing problem gaming.
Facing fiscal challenges, the lawmakers contend that allowing substantial funds to flow into neighboring states or unscrupulous entities is untenable. They stress that redirecting these funds towards public schools and essential services is imperative for New York’s financial stability.
With the legislative session approaching, Addabbo and Pretlow are hopeful that their efforts will culminate in the legalization of iGaming and iLottery. The lawmakers encourage New York to seize this opportunity for economic growth, emphasizing the potential benefits in the face of an impending budget deficit.
In other state gambling news, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has approved a temporary extension of the gambling compact with the Seneca Nation until March 31, 2024. This extension allows the tribe to continue operating its three venues in the state under a Class III license, encompassing table games, while the state benefits from a 25% share of the tribe’s gross gaming revenue, amounting to approximately $100 million annually.
The negotiations, however, remain tense as the tribe seeks a reduced tax rate amidst changing market dynamics and increased competition from new commercial casinos.