A bill legalizing New York online casino moves forward in the Assembly on Feb. 3, bringing with it the possibility of more revenue than the current mobile sports betting marketplace provides.
Legalizing online casino gambling will likely bring in more gross gaming revenue (GGR) than the nearly $1.4 billion New York sportsbook marketplace did in its first year. So says state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., D-Ozone Park, who predicts online casino revenue will “eclipse” that of sports betting.
Before that can happen, state lawmakers need to approve iGaming. So on Friday, state Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow introduced A3634. The measure would allow retail casinos to partner with two sites, possibly yielding 14 online casinos.
Currently, four Upstate New York casinos partner with the state’s nine mobile sportsbooks. A board appointed by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) is vetting applicants for three Downstate New York retail casino licenses. With all seven casinos partnering with two online casino operators, there would be 14 New York online casino sites.
Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon, is the chairman of the committee where his bill now sits. There, in the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Racing and Wagering, it joins New York online poker legislation he introduced on Jan. 17. The measures propose 25% and 15% tax rates, respectively.
In the committee’s counterpart – the New York State Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee – sits proposed legislation to nearly double the number of New York sportsbooks from nine to 16. The bill will also reduce the current 51% tax rate on operators to 25% by 2025.
On Jan. 31, the committees met and held a joint public hearing to evaluate the first year of New York sports betting. In that hearing, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook executives urged New York lawmakers to lower the 51% tax rate and add iGaming.
New York Online Casino Moves Foward
As New York online casino moves forward, lawmakers will likely have more questions about online casino gambling possibly cannibalizing the income of retail casinos.
It’s a subject state Sen. Pamela A. Helming, R-Canandaigua, raised during the joint public hearing on Jan. 31.
While DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and FanDuel Group President Christian Genetski quickly told Helming that the form of gambling will bring new customers into the brick-and-mortar casinos, she probably won’t be the last lawmaker to raise the concern.
Cannibalization concerns may kill all US online casino legalization efforts during 2023, predicted BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt on Jan. 26.
Meanwhile, Addabbo promised a committee hearing soon for lawmakers to discuss New York online casino gambling.