One-house budget proposals from the Assembly and Senate were released on Tuesday. Notably absent from each: New York online casinos.
This signifies the end of NY online casinos becoming legal in 2023, as focus for regulated iGaming legislation will now be pushed to 2024.
While disappointing to those rooting for online casinos to become accessible in the Empire State this year, the news isn’t shocking. Earlier this week, online casino proponent Sen. Joe Addabbo signaled that it was unlikely to be included in the one-house budget.
If legalized, NY sportsbooks, casinos, tribes and race casinos would have had the opportunity to acquire licensing that allows them to offer mobile slots, table games and live dealer games.
Efforts fall short for legal NY online casinos
Addabbo himself admitted that it’s “not a good sign,” when Gov. Kathy Hochul’s FY2024 executive budget excluded online casinos in New York.
On Feb. 15, bill S4856, which was sponsored by Addabbo, was filed with the Senate. It promised to give each regulated NY sports betting operator an inroad to online casino licensing.
This was a last-ditch effort to bring online casinos to New Yorkers in 2023. And with the recent news of its exclusion from the one-house budget, the longshot odds of change coming this year officially came to an end.
In February 2022, Addabbo proposed a similar bill to S4856. However, that obviously didn’t receive the proper backing either.
But this doesn’t signify the end of the push for New York online casinos. Last week, Addabbo said online casinos in the Empire State are a matter of when, not if.
Addabbo and Assemb. Gary Pretlow hope to steer future funding from online casinos to help the state’s responsible gaming resources, among other areas. Many believe online casino gaming would cause an uptick in problem gambling. But Addabbo and Pretlow believe New Yorkers are already partaking in online casinos through offshore sportsbooks or neighboring states.
Online casino tax money is there for the taking
Part of last month’s bill proposal was to steer online casino tax money toward the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund. The MTA has been struggling financially following the end of the pandemic.
By using iGaming taxes for the MTA, the license fees and taxes from the three downstate casinos could be spread to other areas of need. Instead, Hochul’s plan to use tax revenue from three future casinos will stay in place. And New York continues going without the money that could be made from NY online casinos.
Hochul also foresees the state seeing earnings from the downstate casino licenses in 2026. Addabbo’s plan to legalize online casinos would bring funding to the state much sooner.
After all, Addabbo estimates the state is losing $3 billion each year iGaming goes unregulated.