Online casino gaming could be coming to New York, but it may not be 24-7 — at least in the beginning.
Sen. Joe Addabbo mentioned the possibility of the Empire State limiting daily NY online casino gaming hours during the SBC Summit North America on Wednesday.
“It’s something that I’ll talk to my legal counsel about when we start drafting the (bill) language,” Addabbo told PlayNY after the conference. “We’ll take a lot of input during that time. That’s why I’m throwing it out there.”
Conversations have begun for NY online casino legalization
Addabbo and counterpart Assemb. Gary Pretlow — who are both running for re-election in their respective districts — will again look to push legal online casino gaming expansion during next year’s legislative session.
Addabbo introduced an iGaming expansion bill late in last year’s session as a way to get the conversation started.
Addabbo had previously told PlayNY that the biggest obstacle in expanding to online casino gaming would be addiction. The iGaming bill that didn’t advance included an additional $11 million in funding to combat gambling addiction.
Addabbo was still in the process of determining what time period players would be able to play online casino games.
New York could always expand the number of hours — or go to 24/7 — down the road if it starts in this format. None of the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos are open 24-7. Granted, operators may not want to stop the online casino gaming cash flow during overnights, for example.
Question remains surrounding treatment of addiction
The previous bill projected that New York would receive an estimated $475 million annually in tax revenue, plus $150 million in one-time licensing fees from casinos, operators and independent contractors looking to conduct business in the state.
“The population for iGaming is big — especially in New York in my estimation,” Addabbo said. “We saw how successful mobile sports betting is, and that’s just sports fans. iGaming is a little different. It’s poker, it’s table games, it’s slots.
“So the idea is I think with the population (player pool) being bigger, it would mean a bigger population for the possibility of problem gambling and addiction. With that being said, how do you address it? We could put caps on it, we could do reporting, and we could also limit the hours as well.”
New York saw the legalization of online sports betting and the acceleration of the three downstate casino licenses in back-to-back legislative sessions. If the past is any indication, it might be more likely that online casino passes in 2024 rather than 2023.
Regardless, compromise is often required. A limited number of online casino gaming hours — at least at the start — could be one of them.