While additional New York online sports betting operators, and a reduced sports betting tax rate, will not be included in the 2023 fiscal year budget, three downstate casino licenses are likely to be included in the document.
It’s the second New York fiscal year budget in a row to have major gambling implications on the Empire State.
Only Downstate Casinos, No New Operators
Last year, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo included online sports betting in the 2022 fiscal year budget and this year Gov. Kathy Hochul is likely to sign a document that includes three licenses for downstate casinos.
The casinos can be located in the five boroughs, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley.
However, no sports betting changes will be included in this budget. A bill proposed by Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow to expand the number of New York online sports betting operators and reduce the state’s sports betting tax rate will have to wait until later this summer or next year.
Pretlow’s bill called for an increase in the total number of approved online sports betting operators in the Empire State to at least 14 by Jan. 31, 2023, and up to 16 by Jan. 31, 2024.
Currently, only nine operators have been approved to offer sports betting in the Empire State. Caesars Sportsbook NY, DraftKings Sportsbook NY, FanDuel NY, BetMGM, PointsBet NY, WynnBET NY, BetRivers NY and WorldBET are live, while BallyBET will likely launch soon.
Pretlow’s bill would have also reduced the state’s 51% sports betting tax rate. The potential decrease would have been dependent on the number of approved operators. Fifteen or more operators would have resulted in a 25% sports betting tax rate.
Too Much To Ask For This Year’s Budget
Additional sports betting operators and a reduction in tax rate was too much of an ask for this year’s budget, Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. told Elite Sports New York.
“It was premature to look at additional skins or operators at this point. If you do so and it has a negative impact on educational funds or revenue, you don’t want to do that. So, I think the most reasonable thing to do is evaluate it maybe six to eight months from now,” Addabbo said.
Presently, Addabbo said legislators will continue to look at opportunities during this session to expand gaming in the state and to incorporate horse racing or NASCAR online betting opportunities.
Addabbo introduced a bill earlier in the year to allow online sports betting operators to accept fixed-odds bets on horse racing. To do so, the operator would be required to partner and enter into an agreement with a horse racing content provider.
The bill also called for select New York affiliates to partner with qualified sportsbooks to offer self-service betting kiosks on their premises. The bill defined an affiliate as any off-track betting corporation, professional sports stadium or arena, franchised corporation or licensed race track.
“Let’s continue to discuss how to incorporate horse racing, NASCAR, possibly the kiosks. We have until June. You never know,” he said.
Addabbo also introduced a bill earlier in the year to legalize iGaming. He said that will likely be feasible next year.
Since launching in early January, New York has taken in $4.7 billion in online sports bets in less than three months.