New York gambling expansion plans are at different completion stages and overseen by various officials. However, perhaps the most prominent among them is the proposed NY online casino and poker legalization, slated to be discussed soon by the New York State Legislature. That body’s 2023 session begins at noon on Jan. 4.
That’s why state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Ozone Park, tells NY Sports Day that a couple of factors may lead legislators to approve iGaming this year:
- “We’re not getting billions of dollars of [federal] aid,” Addabbo said. So the state will have to come up with that money in a different way; and
- The New York online sports betting market launched on Jan. 8, 2021. Now, it’s the No. 1 revenue generator in the country. Meanwhile, legal online casino and poker revenue in other states outpace online sportsbooks. So legalizing iGaming in New York will likely bring in more tax revenue than mobile sportsbooks already generate.
If legislators decide to legalize online casino gambling, April’s state budget must include the approved bill.
2023 May Be the Year New York Online Casinos
Addabbo said on Friday of the form of New York gambling expansion he’s advocated for years:
I think iGaming is just sitting there waiting for us to work on.
That’s precisely what iGaming is doing right now, considering S8412 remains in the Senate Finance Committee.
Senators placed Addabbo’s bill there on April 25, 2022, rather than voting on it before adjourning last year. The chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee introduced the bill on Feb. 24, 2022.
New York Gambling Expansion Tax Revenue
New York gambling expansion seems partly aimed at raising tax revenue for the state without raising income and property taxes.
Consequently, Addabbo tells NY Sports Day that tax revenue from New York online casinos and poker will “eclipse” that of online sports betting.
That’s even with the 25% tax rate on iGaming outlined in the bill he sponsored, which he’ll need to reintroduce in 2023.
S8412’s Sponsor Memo states:
New York State would receive approximately $475 million annually in State tax revenue, based upon conservative market estimates. In addition, in the first year of operation, New York would receive approximately $150 million in one-time license fees from casinos, operators, and independent contractors seeking to conduct online interactive casino gaming.
NY Sports Day reports that from Jan. 8 to Dec. 25, 2022, New York online sportsbook tax revenue totaled $638,489,748. New York online sportsbooks have a 51% tax rate.
Mobile Sportsbook Operators Seek Lower Tax Rate
As for reducing the sports betting tax rate, Addabbo says he doesn’t believe that’ll happen.
Before legislators consider lowering the tax rate on mobile sports betting operators or increasing the number of legal sportsbooks beyond nine, which many requested, Addabbo wants to see proof of a couple of items. He wants to know how a change will increase revenue and education funding and “benefit the people of New York.”
Addabbo sees no reason to fix what’s already working without facts, figures, and fiscal analysis.
Addabbo tells NY Sports Day:
Someone has to make that argument.
New York Gambling Expansion — Retail Casinos
New York gambling expansion plans reach beyond the legislature.
Today, the Gaming Facility Location Board (GFLB) voted unanimously to “solicit proposals for up to three commercial casinos in New York State.”
The board was expected to seek requests for proposals (RFAs) for the three Downstate New York retail casino licenses on Friday. However, today’s announcement shows that RFA requirements for the $500 million licenses were instead posted on the board’s website “as soon as practicable.”
The board did post the 70-page RFA requirements today.
All told, this is going to be a busy week for New York gambling expansion advocates.