The idea of iGaming expansion is back in New York. This time, the lawmaker behind the push has learned from past experience and is potentially expanding online gaming in multiple ways.
Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Queens) said he plans to introduce an iGaming expansion bill in December for the upcoming legislative session that kicks off in January 2024.
The state senator’s iGaming bill last February failed to make it into the state’s budget. Addabbo serves as the chairman on the Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering.
Sen. Addabbo says new efforts revolved around launching online casino gaming, but also include peer-to-peer poker and possibly verbiage to allow the state to enter into a multi-jurisdictional compact.
Addabbo has said multi-jurisdictional poker “is something that I’ve thought about. When I’m looking at tournaments, I’m looking at not only in-state tournaments, but also state-to-state tournaments.
A multi-jurisdictional compact, such as the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, has been called “a critical component in the quest to establish a national online gaming regime” by Jeff Ifrah of Ifrah Law in Washington, DC.
While national online gaming is much larger than current New York iGaming goals, it has been noted that New York State has almost 20 million people, and could be a major addition to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement.
IGaming Impact in Focus
As New York lawmakers work on final language of iGaming legislation, some state officials say online gaming could bring upwards of $1 billion in revenue to the state.
Sen. Addabbo Jr. believes it could ease the burden of projected budget shortfalls. Recent forecasts project a $36 billion gap over the next three years.
In addition, the neighboring states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut are part of the 7 states that already allow iGaming. The idea, says Addabbo, is to not lose business across state lines. Alternative revenue sources are being discussed, as reported in Casino.org.
Currently the iGaming proposal would tax online casinos at 30.5%.
Mobile Sports Betting Also a Part
Mobile sports betting made its debut in New York state in January 2022. The legislature did not rush in changing laws that allowed mobile sports wagering.
Sen. Addabbo Jr. helped spearhead that legislation. In fiscal year 2022-2023, mobile sports wagering receipts brought in $729 million to the state, according to the State Budget Division’s mid-year financial report. It’s an amount that more than doubled since this time last year.
Language to increase the number of online sportsbook operators could be folded into bills in the next legislative session, too. That could result in a possible reduction of the state’s online sports betting tax rate imposed on AGR, which is currently set at 51%. DraftKings and FanDuel have appealed to legislators to reduce that rate.
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