Proponents of online casinos in New York have another arrow in their quiver and more momentum on their side after another nearby state is set to launch digital gambling.
Last week, Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee signed a bill into law that will tax and regulate online casinos, making the Ocean State the seventh state to legalize. It will go live in early 2024.
While Albany is unlikely to be swayed by anything that happens in Rhode Island, opponents of online gambling now have one less contemporary state in the region.
Hello, neighbor: That’s a lot of online casino money you got there
New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut — all bordering NY — are among the states where online casinos are already permitted. Delaware, which has roughly the same regional influence as RI, also allows its residents to legally gamble online.
Those four states reported more than $3.26 billion in online casino revenue in 2022, according to public data.
Collectively, those states received over $710 million in tax revenue from internet gambling last year.
Online sports betting backs up digital revenue argument
The best-in-the-nation returns from online sports betting in NY also make anti-internet gaming arguments that much more difficult. More than $24 billion has been legally wagered online since January 2022, with more than $1 billion in new taxes going to the state’s education system.
Multiple attempts to adopt NY online casinos have failed, including recent proposals by state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, and Assemb. Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon. Both bills project $475 million in annual tax revenue for the state on top of a one-time $150 million licensing fee.
Addabbo’s bill stalled in the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, which he chairs. The legislative session ended in mid-June without the bill gaining enough support.
It’s not just Nona’s sauce causing ogeda
A few days after McKee signed Rhode Island’s online casino law, Addabbo reiterated his commitment to passing NY online casinos legislation. He said that for the 2023-24 session, he would attempt to get online casinos and online lottery (a new wrinkle) passed in the State Legislature.
“I got past the ogeda. I got past the frustration,” Addabbo jokingly told PlayNY when asked his thoughts about RI legalizing online casinos.
“Now, I just have to dig my heels in and get to work.”
Addabbo’s most recent bill is more inclusive of who can participate in a potential NY online casino market. His proposal would allow commercial casinos, video lottery terminal operators, tribal nations with valid gaming compacts and online sports betting operators to qualify for licenses.
Only licensed casinos and compact-approved tribes would qualify under Pretlow’s legislation.