Gov. Hochul Continues To Tout New York’s Success On Gaming Front, Particularly NY Sports Betting

Written By Mike Mazzeo on June 1, 2022

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul remains a gaming advocate.

Hochul on Tuesday praised the Empire State breaking the all-time tax revenue record from sports betting in any state in just over five months.

Since the Jan. 8 launch of NY online sports betting, the Empire State has generated over $267 million in all-general tax revenue — $263 million via online and $4.3 million from NY’s four commercial casinos (since July 2019).

By comparison, according to a state release, Pennsylvania has collected $253 million since launching sports betting in Nov. 2018, and New Jersey has collected $229 million since going live in June 2018.

NY sports betting booming since launch

According to GeoComply, New Yorkers have created over 2.7 million unique player accounts since January, conducting more than 620 million transactions.

Moving forward for fiscal year 2023 and beyond, annual revenues from online sports betting will break down thusly:

  • $5 million for sports programs for undeserved youths
  • $6 million for problem gambling education and treatment
  • The rest goes to educational funding

“In less than half a year, New York has become a leader among states in implementing successful gaming policies, with hundreds of millions of dollars going to important programs that will improve the lives of all New Yorkers,” Hochul said in a release. “I am committed to upholding responsible and effective gaming policies that will move the industry forward and continue to drive our state’s economic growth.”

Hochul also tweeted her praise for the NY sports betting industry, not only emphasizing the revenue drawn but also how the state will use that money.

“We’ll always be committed to upholding responsible gaming policies,” Hochul tweeted, “while using this money to help all New Yorkers thrive.”

Hochul has eyes on earning full-term election

Hochul, who took over for ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is running for a full term in the upcoming election. The Democratic primary is June 28, and the general election is Nov. 28.

Hochul included the acceleration of three downstate casino licenses in her January executive budget for FY 2023. It was ultimately included in the final budget.

That could bode well — should Hochul win — for NY online casino gaming for the next budget.

Sen. Joe Addabbo — who is running in the 15th District — introduced an online casino gaming bill that didn’t gain any traction during last session. But Addabbo, should he win, plans to make online casino gaming the featured item for the next budget. Talks could begin in the fall prior to the next executive budget in January.

As it stands, the Senate seems more accepting of legal New York online casinos than the Assembly, which has more opposition to further expanding gaming in the state.

Controversial NY sports betting tax rate paying off for state

PlayNY has reported extensively on the state’s record tax revenues from online sports betting in New York.

Cuomo, forced to resign after an independent investigation found that he sexually harassed multiple women, faced significant opposition in going with a controversial 51% tax rate for NY online sports betting.

But — at least in the short term, if not much longer — it has been a financial boom for the state. Granted, operators wish it was more profitable. But the rationale has remained: NY sportsbooks knew the situation prior to launch. And the industry has led to some record-breaking state tax revenue figures.

“From the beginning, we sought a structure that benefited taxpayers while the industry and the legislative representatives fought us tooth and nail in order to reap more of the profits for themselves,” Cuomo’s spokesman, Rich Azzopardi, said in a statement to PlayNY. “They said it wasn’t going to work but the proof is in the score — Taxpayers 1, Hacks 0.”

Photo by AP / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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