iGaming Legalization Bill Debuts in the New York Senate

DraftKings and FanDuel leaders are halfway to getting half of what they wanted from the New York State Legislature. They wanted iGaming legalization and a cut in the 51% tax rate on mobile sportsbooks. On Feb. 15, a bill to legalize online casino gambling, S4856, entered a Senate committee.

The bill sponsored by state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., D-Ozone Park, is most notable for its proposed 30.5% tax rate on New York online casino gambling. That’s a 20.5% lower tax rate than the nine New York sportsbooks have been paying since the marketplace launched on Jan. 8, 2022.

Because of that 51% tax rate, leaders from DraftKings NY and FanDuel NY testified at a joint public hearing on Jan. 31 in Albany. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and FanDuel Group President Christian Genetski told legislators that if they didn’t get some relief from the sportsbook tax rate, they’d have to offer lower-quality NY sports betting experiences.

So Genetski and Robins asked Assemblymen and Senators to lower the sportsbook tax rate and add online casino gambling. That happened during a joint meeting of the chambers’ racing, gaming, and wagering committees on Jan. 31.

Industry Watches Addabbo’s iGaming Legalization Effort

Genetski, Robins, and other DraftKings and FanDuel leaders haven’t posted social media reactions to yesterday’s bill introduction from Addabbo. However, other online gambling insiders are parsing the proposed legislation for their followers.

If it seems odd that operators may be paying more attention to this bill than other iGaming legalization bills already being considered, it’s because Addabbo is the most outspoken legal gambling expansion advocate in state government.

In a lengthy LinkedIn post yesterday, Howard Glaser of gaming products and services provider Light and Wonder broke down Addabbo’s bill.

Glaser, the global head of government affairs and the legislative counsel, wrote:

NY Senate has introduced iGaming bill S4856, which could raise nearly $1B for NYS.

He highlighted how the bill allows for online slots, table games, and live dealer games. Glaser said casinos, sports betting licensees, tribes, and racetrack racinos are “eligible by right” for one skin each.

The iGaming legalization bill also requires live dealer studios to be located in the state in order to stream games to New Yorkers.

NY Sports Day notes in the bill that it calls for a July 1 request for applications to be created by the New York State Gaming Commission. That’s a process organizations are going through now to be chosen for three Downstate New York retail casino licenses.

If legal online casino games enter New York, they will join a busy mix of gambling expansion plans.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher covers online casino news for NY Sports Day. Prior to that, she spent a dozen years writing about marketing and working in that field. She was also a newspaper reporter in Ohio and eventually saw her bylines published in The New York Times.

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