New York Senator Addabbo Pushes for iGaming and iLottery Expansion

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The New York State Capitol is seen in Albany, New York. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/AFP.

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., the Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering, advocates for the expansion of New York’s mobile betting apps. He emphasizes the importance of including iGaming and iLottery options within these apps, as it would allow residents to engage in casino betting conveniently through their mobile devices or personal computers.

New York Tax Coffers Swell

The New York State Gaming Commission just revealed that over $1 billion had been levied in taxes between the date of the launch, January 8, 2022, through May 31, 2023. The vast majority of that money goes to the state education fund and there is expected to be plenty more where that came from as New Yorkers have a seemingly insatiable appetite for betting on sports.

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. is a vocal proponent of regulated gambling in the state and believes there is much more money to be made. He has made it clear that bringing online casino gambling and lottery to the masses will reap even greater financial benefits for the education of its citizens.

“Having an additional $1 billion from our nation-leading mobile sports betting business to help our students get the best education possible is a tremendous milestone,” said Addabbo.

Naturally, there will be some who believe more gambling options will lead to more gambling problems, but a portion of the sports betting revenue is earmarked for problem gambling programs and counseling which contributes approximately $6 million every year.

“We should continue to build upon these solid revenue-generating opportunities in order to make many additional improvements to our state’s gaming ventures and addiction services,” Addabbo said. “I look forward to greater results with the future eventual arrival of iGaming and iLottery in New York.”

Not This Time Around

Despite Senator Addabbo’s efforts, online casino gambling was not included in the governor’s Fiscal Year 2024 executive budget proposal in January nor was online casino gambling anywhere to be found in the House or Senate fiscal year budgets in March.

It is important to note that the current New York sports betting operators have had to swallow hard in accepting a 51% tax rate to the state which is tied for the highest percentage in the nation. There are also millions of dollars in licensing fees on top of that.

And because of that, Addabbo has decided that there should be a less severe tax rate to entice operators to get on board with iGaming in the state. To that end, he has decided on a 30.5% online casino tax rate which is far less than the 61% being paid by Bally’s to the state of Rhode Island on virtual slots.

Potential for Multiple iGaming Operators in New York

However, unlike New York sports betting, Bally’s has a monopoly in Rhode Island on online sports betting and will also be the sole provider of online casino gambling when that goes live in 2024. If Addabbo has his way, New York will have multiple iGaming operators much as they do with the sports betting platforms.

Howard Glaser, the global head of gaming affairs for Light & Wonder (formerly Scientific Games Corporation), opined that generating tax revenue through iGaming would be preferable to levying taxes on citizens or corporations in the state.

“The iGaming bill would raise in the neighborhood in $800 million in revenue for the state. This should be much more palatable to the legislature than the tax increases, like the commuter tax or the corporate franchise tax, that were proposed in the Governor’s budget,” said Glaser.