NY Online Casino Bill Drops With Murky Prospects For Passage

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NY online casino

The 2024 online New York casino bill features the same tax rate as the one which failed to gain any traction in last year’s session. 

Sen. Joe Addabbo’s NY online casino bill, S8185, again features a 30.5% tax rate, as opposed to the 51% tax rate for online New York sports betting.

It was introduced on Thursday, with a long road in front of it. 

NY online casino bill faces challenges

The NY online casino bill faces what appears to be a difficult road, given that Gov. Kathy Hochul and others in the state’s executive leadership are already dealing with the arduous downstate casino licensing process

Still, there is hope for a push from the sponsor.

“This is a starting point,” Addabbo told LSR. “This is what I hope the Governor’s people look at and say this is doable. … I want people to start a conversation. I will not be the only one, I cannot be the only one, talking about this.”

New York casino revenue would help

Advocates of the legislation believe it will help a state that is facing a $4.3 billion budget gap for next year. They believe New York is losing online casino revenue to other states, as well as the illegal market. 

“New York is leaving billions on the table by letting the illegal online gaming market run rampant. Illegal iGaming is drawing customers away from casinos and hurting their employees and communities,” Light & Wonder global head of gaming affairs Howard Glaser told LSR.

“A regulated market will drive out the illegal operators and protect New York’s legal casino market. And the resulting state revenue will help fund New York’s critical needs without resorting to tax increases or cutting essential services. We hope the Legislature takes a serious look.” 

Key difference in NY online casino bill

One key difference between the NY iGaming legislation in 2023 and this bill is the creation of a fund of at least $25 million for union workers. 

Addabbo met with the Hotel & Gaming Trades Council (NYHTC) recently as he was putting the bill together. The HTC opposed legislation last session. 

The bill language states: 

“In each fiscal year in which interactive gaming licensees accept interactive gaming wagers, the commission shall pay, on a quarterly basis, one-quarter of one-tenth of one percent of that tax imposed on interactive gaming by this section to a fund established for the purpose of employee training, responsible gaming training and education, health, and development; provided however, that the amount budged for such a program shall be no less than twenty-five million dollars for each fiscal year. 

“An individual must be an employee of a licensed commercial gaming facility represented by a labor organization having a valid project labor agreement to be an eligible participant in such fund. Such fund shall be administered by the representative labor organization or organizations having a valid project labor agreement.”  

Quick hits on New York casino bill

Other key elements of the bill include: 

Financial impact of iGaming in NY

Passing iGaming legislation is projected to bring $1 billion annually to New York’s coffers. It would take about a year to realize that money upon passage. 

Addabbo explained why he feels it is is important for iGaming to get over the finish line in 2024: