New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo Puts Forward New Online Gambling Bill

Addabbo Introduces New Bill to Legalize Gambling in New York

New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo aims to enter the global iGaming market by introducing a newly revised bill to legalize the activity.

New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo is looking to capitalize on the global iGaming market, asserting that it has the potential to generate over $1 billion in annual revenue for the state. The recently introduced Senate Bill S8185, which allows citizens to engage in gambling activities both online and offline, has been forwarded to the New York Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee for further consideration.

Unfortunately, Addabbo’s attempt to introduce a similar legislation at around the same time last year, did not pass. The current bill seeks to legalize online casinos and internet lottery in the Empire State. iGaming experts from had this to say: 

‘No doubt, the people of New York who enjoy a good casino or lotto game are keeping their fingers crossed, so the demand’s definitely there. Otherwise, Senator Addabbo wouldn’t be pushing for it to pass the second time round. And everyone knows what they say when there’s a high demand for something: there needs to be supply. Granted, time will paint a clearer picture, but as it stands, we’re pretty hopeful.’

Breaking Down The Bill

The newly revised bill covers the criteria for obtaining licenses detailing the permissible entities including New York’s land-based casinos, encompassing four upstate casinos and three downstate facilities currently under development. Additionally, three racetracks are eligible to apply.  Moreover the following three New York tries, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Seneca Nation of Indians, can seek licenses based on their existing gaming compacts with the state, albeit requiring a compact amendment.

Furthermore, three additional licenses will be granted through a competitive bidding process. Applicants qualifying for these licenses must commit to an affirmative action program approved by the Commission. Each licensed casino or operator is obligated to remit a one-time fee of $2.0 million (£1.6 million/€1.8 million). Independent contractors engaged to provide an iGaming platform for an operator must also pay $10.0 million.

The agreement stipulates that live dealer studios must be situated within the state of New York. For eligibility for an interactive gaming license, those overseeing a live dealer game must enter into a labor agreement with a union.

Online Lottery Inclusion

In addition to addressing iGaming, the legislation provides information about the proposed 

regulations for online lotteries. According to the bill, it suggests permitting individuals in New York to engage in joint, multi-jurisdictional, and out-of-state lotteries through online platforms, accessible via both mobile devices and desktop computers.

Furthermore, the bill specifies that the oversight of online ticket sales would be under the purview of the New York State Division of Lottery. If the legislation successfully transitions into law, it would take effect immediately.

Sports Betting Success

The introduction of the new bill coincides with the nearly two-year anniversary of the launch of legal internet sports betting in New York. The state’s regulated market commenced on January 10, 2022, and has since evolved into the largest market in the United States.

In December 2023, New York achieved a remarkable feat by setting a new state revenue record, with online sports betting revenue reaching $188.3 million. This surpassed the previous record of $166.3 million set in October 2023.

Moreover, November witnessed New York reporting an unprecedented $2.11 billion in internet sports betting handle. Not only did this mark a record high for the state, but it also stood as the highest figure reported across the entire country.

Potential Setbacks

The absence of iGaming in Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2025 executive budget poses a significant setback to the prospects of iGaming in the state for 2024. Hochul’s 2025 budget totals $233 billion (£184.20 billion/€214.43 billion), indicating an approximate $1 billion increase from the previous year. She underscored that this growth would be achieved without implementing any increases in income taxes.

Despite the exclusion of iGaming from the New York budget, Hochul has included a provision to extend several expiring measures related to pari-mutuel, racing, wagering, and breeding laws. This extension spans a duration of one year. Brendan Bussmann, managing partner at B Global Advisors, contends that the decision to omit iGaming from the budget deals a severe blow to the future of online casinos.

Bussman believes that legalizing iGaming in the state could replicate the success witnessed in sports betting. Additionally, given the proximity of sports betting operations in neighboring states like Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, Bussmann emphasizes the strategic significance of establishing a presence in New York due to its high population density.

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