States Like New York Could Realize That They Need Online Casinos For New Revenue

Written By Grant Lucas on December 26, 2023
draftkings ceo jason robins for a story on future of online casinos in new york

If all goes according to plan, online casinos will be legalized in New York in 2024.

The cards appear to imply such a move, anyway. We’re five years removed from the US Supreme Court repealing PASPA, which set off the hot topic of state-regulated sports betting – which, of course, New York got into just a few years ago with retail and in 2022 with online sportsbooks in NY.

And while lawmakers attempted to expand legal gambling with NY online casinos, not much (if any) movement has occurred over the past few years.

For Jason Robins, that indicates that “people are sort of sleeping on it a little bit and maybe are just focused on how big the sports side can be and not realizing the iGaming side can make the business even larger.”

“And I think it’s something that also maybe because there wasn’t a lot of momentum in the last year or so on the legislative side, people have kind of forgotten about it a little bit,” the DraftKings co-founder and CEO said during the 3rd Annual Craig-Hallum Online Gaming Conference recently.

“But I think that’s another one that’s only a matter of time. We did hit a bit of a period where I think a lot of states had their pockets full after the COVID federal relief packages. And some of those states are starting to pull their head up now and say, hey, we’re looking for new sources of revenue.”

NY online casinos could become ‘gem’ for operators

As Robins detailed, online casino gaming represents “a very significant chunk of our revenues, and that’s only in five states.”

“I mean, it’s going to grow,” Robins added. “So really for me, iGaming is kind of the unlocked or the hidden, not yet unlocked, I should say, gem of DraftKings.”

DraftKings – every online casino operator, really – remains “very bullish on iGaming,” Robins said. And New York is among the states that will open up so much more for these companies looking to truly capitalize on expanded legal online gambling.

“I think it’s something that is sort of like I said for many, at least a hidden gem and we’re investing a lot behind that product,” Robins said. “It’s something that we intend to continue to compete in and try to gain share.”

The upside of online casino gaming, especially in New York, remains highly sought-after. As Robins put it, and as many industry experts believe, that side of online gambling could become much bigger than legal sports betting. Still, as the DraftKings CEO said, many people are not looking beyond sports betting.

“But really, iGaming, as I noted is an area I feel like people on the investment side, at least some people are sleeping on, which is surprising given how big it is. But I get so many more questions about the sports market than iGaming.”

Could New York legalize online casinos in 2024?

Ideally, New Yorkers won’t have long to “sleep” on online casino gaming. Sen. Joe Addabbo told PlayNY that he plans on introducing legislation by the end of the year, in hopes of being included in January’s Executive Budget.

Like Robins, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt is “eagerly anticipating” legislative movement in New York, a “highly coveted” iGaming market, as he told investors during a 2023 business update.

After all, New York, the No. 1 legal sports betting market in the country, expects to generate millions in state tax revenue from NY online casinos. Combined with the fact that the state faces a $4.3 billion budget deficit, that makes New York a likely possibility for iGaming legalization this year.

Photo by Charles Krupa / AP Photo
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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.

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