Sen. Joe Addabbo will reintroduce a New York online casino bill during the state’s 2023 legislative session.
During a Sunday panel discussion at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) conference in Las Vegas, advocates said NY iGaming could be worth an estimated $428 million in tax revenue — off $2.1 billion in total gross gaming revenue — with a 20% tax rate.
But even the most ardent industry supporters acknowledge getting a NY online casinos bill across the finish line next year will be a daunting challenge, with 2024 perhaps being more likely.
“I know everyone’s saying we have money,” Addabbo’s legislative director, Shanna Cassidy, said. “We’re good, but you can never have enough money for education.”
Odds for 2023 legalization of NY online casinos
Of course, a number of hurdles stand in the way of any bill to legalize online casinos in New York.
As outlined in the panel discussion, obstacles for the bill include:
- Competing industry priorities
- Major gaming expansion process
New York will also expand land-based business with up to three downstate casinos. In addition, online sports betting operators continue to push for a tax reduction from the 51% rate. Granted, they agreed to that 51% tax rate when they entered the market.
Plus, with the record-breaking tax revenue the Empire State has received from New York sports betting, a tax reduction will be a very difficult — if not impossible — sell. Therefore, online casino advocates would like the operators to abandon those pursuits in favor of pushing for iGaming in 2023.
Any New York online casino bill needs extensive coverage of addiction
Last week, Addabbo told Legal Sports Report that the 2023 NY online casino bill needs to be “more robust, more extensive” in terms of addressing addictions issues in its statutory language. The senator has already started getting the ball rolling in that direction.
Previously, Addabbo broached the idea that iGaming may not be available to NY customers 24-7 — at least the start, if not longer.
Addabbo and Assembly counterpart Gary Pretlow will continue to have gaming discussions heading into the 2023 state budget session, which begins in January.
Quick update on downstate NY casinos
The New York Gaming Facility Location Board must issue a request for applications on the downstate casinos by Jan. 6. Two of the more intriguing partnerships are Steve Cohen-Citi Field-Hard Rock and Times Square-SL-Green-Caesars-Jay-Z (Roc Nation).
Many consider existing video lottery terminals Resorts World NYC and MGM Empire City as favorites to secure two of the three licenses.
There is no timeline for those downstate casino licenses to be awarded. Yet industry insiders have speculated that if, for example, the local siting boards take six months to go through applicants, the earliest a license could be awarded is Q1 2024.