The battle for legalizing online casinos in New York will officially pick back up in 2024.
But just not yet.
On Friday, at least one report emerged that Sen. Joe Addabbo recommitted his bill S4856 that he originally proposed in February 2023 to legalize NY online casinos.
However, Addabbo told PlayNY on Friday to ignore the recent action of the 2023 bill at this time. He then confirmed:
“There will be a new iGaming bill being introduced.”
What 2024 NY online casino bill might look like
While each of the last several attempts to legalize online casinos in NY fell short, the most recent effort from Addabbo expected to become the template for 2024.
In that bill, S4856 carved out potentially over 20 online casino licenses in the Empire State
Not only would the four upstate casinos become eligible to apply for licensing, so, too, would the three incoming downstate casinos. In addition, tribes such as the Seneca, Oneida and Mohawk could pursue licenses as well as video lottery terminals that conduct racing. On top of it all: All nine existing NY online sportsbooks.
If that weren’t enough, three licenses would be available for outside entities to bid upon.
Each license-holder, as detailed in the bill, would be authorized to offer online slots as well as table and live dealer games, with live dealer studios required to exist within state lines.
Interested parties would pay $2 million in licensing fees ($10 million for independent contractors using a brand from another licensee) and observe a 30.5% tax rate on gross gaming revenue, which would go toward the state lottery fund for education aid. Plus, the bill carved out $11 million for annual problem gambling education and treatment.
Chances of NY online casino legalization this year
Ultimately, S4856 fell short of passage in 2023 as one-house budgets from the Senate and Assembly excluded NY online casinos.
But optimism remains that 2024 will be the year the state finally legalizes the vertical.
Consider the record-breaking, and still-growing, online sports betting industry in the Empire State: $35.3 billion in handle, over $3 billion in gross gaming revenue and more than $1.5 billion in state tax revenue. All in just two years of existence.
That, Addabbo told PlayNY recently, is the strong jumping-off point for New York to launch online casino gaming. On top of that, neighboring states continue to legalize iGaming and thrive off New Yorkers choosing to participate in online casinos.
And while the senator emphasizes the need for legalization to help those who need assistance with problem and responsible gambling, he also addressed the fear of cannibalization from authorizing NY online casinos.
“All those live dealers that have to be in New York, all the live studio workers that have to be in New York, those are union members,” Addabbo said as an example. “So we not only protect the current brick-and-mortar workers, we actually increase the union members there.”