Detailing Some Of The Changes Made In Amended Bill To Legalize NY Online Casinos

Written By Grant Lucas on February 1, 2024
man looks through magnifying glass at paper for a story on an amended New York online casino bill in the Senate

Sen. Joe Addabbo amended and recommitted legislation to the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, continuing his quest to legalize online casinos in the Empire State.

As performed on the first day of February, Addabbo pushed forward with his effort to pass S8185, which would legalize online casinos in New York as well as NY online poker and internet lottery.

Addabbo added Article 15 to the bill, spelling out “legislative intent and findings.” In it, the senator detailed how seven states have authorized online casino gaming, including in bordering states New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The legislative draft now awaits discussion and approval within the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee before advancing.

Amendment further addresses concerns from labor union

Looking to further bolster his commitment to helping the New York Hotel and Gaming Trades Council (HTC), the bill calls for any applicant seeking a New York online casino license to “produce an affidavit stating it shall enter into a labor peace agreement with labor organizations that are actively engaged in representing … gaming or hospitality industry workers.”

In a nutshell, any operator looking to earn a license must commit to using union employees. This comes on top of the $25 million promised to the union each fiscal year for employee training, education and health and development.

Earlier this week, as reported by PlayUSA, Bhav Tibrewal – political director for the HTC – said that “our organization has one job, and it’s to increase the standard of living in New York state through the creation and preservation of exceptionally good jobs in the gaming industry.”

Tibrewal was skeptical that S8185 was a job creator. He added:

“There’s an entire ecosystem of labor, services and amenities that comes with a casino, and iGaming really completely decimates that ecosystem and changes the nature of what it means to gamble in New York state.”

How New York tribes factor into online casino bill

As written in the proposal, the state could carve out as many as 31 licenses to operate online casinos in New York. That includes an allotment of licenses for tribes.

Further explained in the bill, in order to qualify, a tribe – among other things – must “waive … exclusive geographic right to offer and conduct interactive gaming.”

If tribes agree to this, then residents in those areas will have access not only to that tribe’s online casino but also any of the others in operation. Should a tribe elect not to waive that right, operators cannot make their products available within its exclusive geographic area. As a result, NY online casino operators will need to install geofencing technology “to ensure that interactive gaming is not available to persons who are physically located in an Indian tribe’s exclusive geographic area.”

Other details within proposed legislation

Among other amendments to the draft, online casinos in New York will be instructed to ensure that authorized gamblers in the state have no more than one account with the licensee.

What that means is if FanDuel Casino NY went live with online casino gaming, it would offer a shared wallet to allow its NY sports betting users to use their sportsbook accounts to access the online casino offerings.

In addition, the New York State Gaming Commission will have the authorization to enter into agreements with other states, allowing New York customers to participate in multistate contests. So if online poker players in New York wished to compete against players from, say, New Jersey or Nevada or Michigan, they could do so if the NYSGC elected to enter into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement.

Finally, as it pertains to internet lottery in New York, the bill details specific games users in the state could play. From the draft, they include: “any lawful lottery game authorized by the Commission including joint, multi-jurisdiction and out-of-state lottery games, daily number games, lotto games, quick draw and instant cash.”

Photo by PlayNY
Grant Lucas Avatar
Written by
Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

View all posts by Grant Lucas
Privacy Policy