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Deyan Dimitrov January 8, 2024 3 min read
Senator Addabbo Announces Second Attempt at Legalizing iGaming in New York
Addabbo revealed to US Bets that he plans to file a new bill within the next fortnight, hoping that his efforts will bring a substantial new revenue stream to the Empire State
A long-time supporter of regulated gambling, Addabbo is gearing up for a fresh push to legalize online casino gaming in New York, introducing legislation for the second consecutive year. Although his previous attempt failed to gain traction, the Senator is optimistic, noting that now is the perfect time for the state to recapture mobile sports betting’s incredible success.
Second Time’s the Charm
Addabbo’s 2023 bill failed to move forward as Gov. Kathy Hochul did not include the legislation in the 2024 state budget. However, the anticipated unveiling of the 2025 state budget in February will provide another chance for the bill to gain traction. Addabbo was confident that the legislation would greatly benefit New York, significantly alleviating its rising financial pressures.
The 2023 legislation proposed a 30.5% tax on gross gaming revenue and covered various iCasino games, including slots, table games, and live dealer games. It also identified at least 19 potential entities eligible for casino licenses, encompassing destination resorts, video lottery parlors with live racing, tribes with state agreements, and existing sports betting platforms.
Addabbo’s iGaming bill outlined a bidding process for three online casino licenses, allowing each casino to operate one iGaming skin. It envisioned a $2 million one-time fee for casino operators and a $10 million one-time fee for interactive operators. Addabbo noted that he had gained substantial insights, indicating potential revisions for his newest attempt.
New York Online Casinos Are a Matter of Time
Anticipated changes in this year’s bill encompass the introduction of iLottery, measures to prevent the online sector from displacing traditional casinos, and a provision allocating an additional $11 million for gambling harm prevention programs. These measures align with the legal framework of neighboring states’ iGaming markets and should make New York a competitive and healthy online gaming jurisdiction.
Addabbo emphasized the necessity of mobile casino legalization for a state grappling with financial challenges, noting that New Yorkers were regularly participating in illegal gambling, leading to an estimated loss of about a billion dollars annually. Furthermore, black market operators do not offer any consumer protections, significantly increasing the risk of addiction and gambling harm.
Other states are doing it and taking our money. And if I hear my analysts in the industry correctly, we lose about a billion dollars a year. How long can we sit on the sidelines?State Senator Joe Addabbo
Senator Addabbo’s persistent efforts underscore the ongoing debate and push for online casino gaming legalization in New York. Although his success is far from assured, the question of New York iGaming is more of a “when” rather than an “if,” especially considering iGaming’s increasing proliferation across the USA and the region’s attractiveness to leading operators.