Online casino gaming may not find its way into New York until next year.
At this point, it seems unlikely that Sen. Joe Addabbo’s bill to authorize online casino and online poker in the Empire State will make its way into the one-house budget, let alone pass through as a standalone bill.
With NY politics, things can take crazy twists and turns. And the final budget isn’t due until April 1. But in this particular case, the consensus, industry sources told PlayNY, is that it may be too much, too soon on the New York gaming front.
It took NY online sports betting multiple years to get off the ground.
And the eternally optimistic Addabbo has been realistic about the NY online casino process. As a result, he is simply content to start the conversations with his colleagues about getting online blackjack, roulette, poker, slots, etc., … up and running on legal casino apps.
New York iGaming fiscal potential
New York sportsbooks have generated $104.4 million in tax revenues from Jan. 8-Feb. 27.
Passage of the bill would mean upwards of a projected $500 million annually in New York in terms of educational funding via tax revenue.
Still, at this point, it appears that Addabbo would have to change a lot of minds. One would imagine that the early success of online sports betting in NY might be enough. It’s just that doesn’t appear to be the case. Next year, with potentially fewer major gaming items on the agenda, he may have an easier go of it.
Future gaming growth in New York
There is some confidence that NY will be able to award licenses for three downstate casinos under Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget plan.
One iteration that has the backing of local policymakers is turning existing video lottery terminals (VLTS) MGM Empire City (Yonkers) and Resorts World (NYC) into full casinos given speed to market. The third license could then take three to five years to build while potentially facing opposition and an uphill battle of trying to put it in the five boroughs of NYC. Those licenses could be worth $1.5 billion or more to the state.
Addabbo and counterpart Gary Pretlow are also trying to expand online sports betting via a bill to add fixed-odds horse racing to NY sports betting apps. In addition, the bill would also allow sportsbook kiosks at stadiums, arenas and racetracks throughout the state.
Pretlow also introduced a bill amendment — later matched by Addabbo — that calls for the Empire State to go from nine NY online sportsbooks to no fewer than 14 by Jan. 31, 2023 (lowering the tax rate from 51% to 35%) and no fewer than 16 by Jan. 31, 2024 (decreasing the tax rate further to 25%).