New York iGaming legislation has until the end of the week to find a home in a one-house budget or it will not be legalized in 2023.
Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. revealed the timeline of his iGaming legislation to ESNY today after concluding a roundtable on the issue with a number of interested gaming representatives.
“My timeline is by the end of the week. If I don’t hear anything from my leadership, or Gary (Pretlow) doesn’t hear from his leadership, and it’s not in one-house budget, we’ll be done for this year,” Addabbo Jr. told ESNY.
NY iGaming Not An ‘If’, But a ‘When’
Addabbo Jr.’s iGaming bill, S4856, seeks to legalize online casino gaming, including slots, table games, and live dealer games. The bill includes a 30.5% iGaming tax rate. Most states average between 15% to 18% for their iGaming tax rates.
The senator told ESNY the bill could conceivably see nearly $1 billion in iGaming tax revenue a year for New York, which could be earmarked to fund the MTA, a recent point of emphasis from Gov. Kathy Hochul (D).
“The money we’re talking about here is substantial,” he said.
But if it doesn’t find its way into a one-house budget by Sunday he’ll drop the bill and focus against on legalization in 2024. It would be a year-and-a-half of lost revenue, he said, as launch wouldn’t take place until 2025.
He and his ally in the New York State Assembly, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-89), cannot be the only two lawmakers fighting for iGaming this year, he noted.
Despite the long odds to get something done this year, Addabbo did say iGaming is “not a matter of if, but when” for the state.
“Nothing surprises me anymore,” Addabbo said, when asked if he thought the bill could find a place in a one-house budget by the end of the week.
New York online sports betting was dead in the water before former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) decided sports betting tax revenue would help the state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
iGaming Bill Details
The bill would allow all nine current online sports betting license holders to hold an iGaming license.
In addition to the nine licenses for online sports betting operators, the bill allows New York casinos, racinos, and tribes to hold an iGaming license.
Each license is valid for 10 years and requires a $2 million license fee to hold.
Three additional online iGaming licenses will be available to any operator through a competitive bidding process. This will likely provide an entrance to the New York market for operators who lost out on online sports betting licenses, such as Fanatics or Barstool.
These independent contractors will be able to acquire a license for a $10 million fee if approved to hold one.
The New York State Gaming Commission will regulate iGaming. Like the online sports betting license awards, the gaming commission will accept bids for the three iGaming licenses and award the documents after the competitive bidding process is complete.
An interesting limitation in the bill will prohibit operators who knowingly participate in unregulated or offshore markets from being eligible for a New York iGaming license.
Additionally, if any licensed operator is found to be participating or accepting revenue from unregulated or offshore iGaming markets, the New York State Gaming Commission reserves the right to revoke their awarded license.