NY sports betting operators hoping iGaming could mitigate the state’s high tax rate will not find help this year.
As it turns out, online casino gaming did not make it into either the Senate or Assembly one-house budgets, all but ending its hopes for passage in 2023.
A March 7 iGaming roundtable hearing, which included policymakers and industry experts, hoped to alleviate any lingering concerns of the Hotel & Gaming Trades Council on brick-and-mortar cannibalization and live dealer union jobs.
However, in the end, those lingering concerns remain.
Addabbo upset at iGaming outcome
Sen. Joe Addabbo was frustrated by the outcome.
“There has to be somebody other than a Senator who says you want the roughly $1 billion in revenue? You want to help somebody with a possible addiction? You want to gain the educational funds, whatever it is, to help the MTA?” Addabbo told LSR. “It’s there if you want to work on it. But it can’t just be me.”
Still, even if the hopes are on life support, he would not rule it out for this year just yet.
“It’s inevitable in New York. It’s going to happen eventually,” Addabbo said. “In Albany, I’ll never say never. I’ve seen things materialize in 24 hours. So I’ve stopped talking about it, but you never know. Stranger things have happened during budget negotiations.”
NY sports betting plan post-budget
Pretlow recently addressed what his gaming plans are for post-budget session.
That includes hopefully expanding the sports betting market to include awards and drafts.
“I’m pushing for expanded sports betting, where awards can be part of it and other things,” Pretlow said. “I really don’t see iGaming coming to the table outside of the budget, because it has to do with finances, and unless we need $1 billion upfront in a hurry, I don’t see that happening.
We still could do the expansion of the items that are available on the mobile sports betting, and also the (stadium) kiosks are still on the table.”
Promo deductions unlikely for NY sports betting
Pretlow did not foresee a middle ground that include promotional deductions.
“That’s not gonna happen because, even though nobody likes it, we’ve been at this for a year now, and nobody’s going out of business and really suffered,” he said.
Where does DraftKings go from here?
That leaves DraftKings, and the other nine operators in New York, with a decision to make about their future in the Empire State.
“It’s the biggest state that has sports betting, and it can be profitable,” Robins said. “ … We had to (launch there), and it’s the right thing to do. I think the issue is going to be what are the measures, what are the steps that need to be in place that all the operators, in some combination, are going to have to take in order to make New York profitable? And what does that mean for the consumer value proposition that’s going to be there?
“I think it’ll eventually sort out … and either it’ll be acceptable enough that the state will leave things as status quo, or it won’t and they’ll change things. But I think either way this is unfortunately part of when you’re a regulated business, and not every state is going to necessarily do it in a way that you think makes sense. You have to kind of adapt.”