All Signs Point To 2024 Legalization Of Online Casinos In New York

Written By David Danzis on July 6, 2023
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Among the many gamblers’ fallacies is the false notion of being due for a win. The flawed logic most often rears its ugly head following a series of losses, when a gambler is at their lowest point and hoping that one win will turn their luck around.

The consistently unsuccessful attempts to legalize online casinos in New York are starting to resemble a gambler’s bad luck streak. Each time, the hope for a win grows a little more, which only makes defeat that much more painful.

But — and we know the gambling gods scoff at the mere suggestion — it’s starting to feel like online players in New York are due for a win.

NY online casinos on tap for 2024

Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. is the consummate realist on this topic. The Queens-based Democrat who chairs the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering has tried convincing his colleagues in Albany to pass internet gambling legislation for several years.

The most recent state legislative session concluded in June, where Addabbo’s bill to legalize NY online casinos stalled (in his committee, no less), as did a companion Assembly version sponsored by Assemb. Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon.

Just a few days into the summer recess for state lawmakers, Addabbo told PlayNY he’s already eyeing 2024 for legalizing NY online casinos. Additionally, the senator said he wants to see internet lottery get a vote in Albany next year.

“Going forward, this is something I think the state should consider,” Addabbo said. “If you combine iLottery with iGaming, (we are) sitting on top of a billion dollars in revenue.”

How does NY stack up to neighbors, competitors? Pretty well

He may be underselling it. New York would easily surpass Addabbo’s projection based on available data and comparisons to nearby gambling jurisdictions.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan are the country’s three largest online casino markets. Digital casino operators in all three states generated over $1 billion in revenue last year. In 2023, monthly revenue is eclipsing $100 million in each state.

According to recent US Census data, NY has a population of just under 20 million. Combined, Michigan (10.1M) and NJ (9.3M) have less than that. Pennsylvania has 12.9 million residents and is the fifth-most populous state, behind NY.

Proponents of legalizing online casino gambling in NY believe they have momentum and economic rationale on their side.

New York online sports betting has leapfrogged every other legal jurisdiction (including Las Vegas) in terms of the total dollars wagered and taxes generated. And it has done so in less time than anywhere else in the country.

Connecting and dotting until online gambling dollars make sense

Addabbo pointed to the success of NY sports betting and said legal online casinos is the “next natural step.” He said the tax revenue generated from legal forms of internet gambling can go toward education, transportation, seniors, veterans, social service programs and public health initiatives.

Educating and informing other politicians is Addabbo’s biggest hurdle. In prior attempts to get others on board with legalization, the reasons for opposing online casinos ranged from addiction concerns to job creation to brick-and-mortar cannibalization.

“I thought we addressed it all. But, I’ll have to flush it out, more so, I guess, my explanations to make sure (we do).”

When lawmakers reconvene in the state capital in the fall, Addabbo said he will “cross all my T’s and dot all my I’s.”

“We’ll start connecting the dots, as we did with mobile sports betting. We’ll start talking to those in the industry, start looking at other states and try to gain momentum for next year’s budget. So that is basically what we’re going to do in the offseason.”

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David Danzis

David Danzis is a writer for PlayNY. A New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University, he served as a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, earning statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports and business. Today, he contributes to New York's growing legal gambling landscape, including online sports betting and potential legalization of NY online casinos. David lives in Mays Landing with his wife and two children. When not on the beach, a golf course, or snowboarding, David enjoys watching his beloved New York sports teams — Yankees, Jets, Rangers and Knicks.

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