New York’s journey towards the legalization of online casinos has hit a significant roadblock with Governor Kathy Hochul’s latest $233 billion Executive Budget, which notably excludes online casinos.
This development is a setback for advocates of online casino legalization, including Senator Joe Addabbo, who recently introduced Bill S8185.
The bill aims to authorize online casino gaming and internet lottery in New York. However, without the inclusion of online casinos in the budget, the bill’s prospects seem uncertain.
Senator Addabbo’s Continued Push for iCasino Legislation
Despite the lack of support in the Governor’s budget, Senator Addabbo remains committed to his initiative. The bill he introduced proposes a 30.5% tax rate on gross gaming revenue for licensees and includes one time fees for casinos and independent contractors providing iGaming platforms.
The bill also extends license eligibility to federally recognized tribes, video lottery parlors, and existing sports betting operators, with a portion of the funds allocated to support individuals struggling with gambling addiction.
Gov. Hochul and Sen. Addabbo Different Sides on Gambling Issues
Challenges and Prospects for Online Casino Legislation
Addabbo faces a challenging path ahead. The senator has previously stated that he would not push hard for the bill without Hochul’s support, and the budget’s focus on other priorities suggests limited legislative bandwidth for online casino legalization.
This year’s focus includes extending parimutuel tax rates for horse racing and allowing off-track betting facilities more flexibility in spending their capital funds.
Additionally, Hochul is dealing with other gaming issues, such as the vetting process for downstate casino licenses and a renewed agreement with the Seneca Nation.
The Future of Online Casino Legalization in New York
As of now, the future of online casino legalization in New York in 2024 remains in doubt. With the March 31 deadline for the final budget agreement approaching, Addabbo and his supporters must work diligently to change the minds of lawmakers and the governor.
However, given the current priorities outlined in the Executive Budget and the challenges presented by other gaming issues, the path to legalizing online casinos in New York is fraught with uncertainty.
The exclusion of online casinos from New York’s Executive Budget signals a challenging year ahead for the legalization of online gaming. While the state’s professional sports teams have united in their efforts to legalize sports betting, the journey for online casinos faces significant hurdles.
As advocates like Senator Addabbo continue to push for change, the coming months will be crucial in determining the fate of online casinos in New York.
Elina Blagoeva is a member of the Mr. Sweepstakes editorial team. She studied Multimedia and Creative Technologies at the KdG University of Applied Science and Arts in Antwerpen, Belgium.