Senator Addabbo Files iGaming Bill in New York

Senator Joseph Addabbo

Now that mobile sports betting is live in New York, one senator has decided to push for online gambling as well.

While nearby states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania have fully embraced online gambling and sports betting, New York has stayed behind. The state finally launched mobile sports betting less than two months ago and now it seems that one senator has his sights now set on iGaming. Senator Joseph Addabbo has decided to file a new measure, S8412, to allow existing commercial and tribal casinos to offer mobile gaming apps. The senator has been a long-time proponent for gambling expansion in the state.

Details on the Legislation

The new measure was introduced late last week and would allow those that are licensed for land-based gaming to offer online casino options as well. Apps could be launched via two platforms with options to offer independent services via the land-based brand.

Casinos that obtain licensing for iGaming would pay $2 million in fees. The independent operators connected to the land-based brand would need to pay $10 million. Each license is valid for a 10-year time frame. The State Gaming Commission would be in charge of deciding how the license should be renewed.

Gross gaming revenues from the new industry would be taxed at 25%. This is around half the existing mobile sports betting rate. Promotional credits would not be added to the taxable amount. Senator Addabbo feels that the licensing fees would bring the state around $150 million up front. It has been estimated that tax payments would be in the $475 million range annually.

Is There Enough Support?

Right now, lawmakers in New York are pushing to see the three remaining land-based casinos licenses handed out to operators near New York City. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, Addaboo and the Hochul Administration are focusing hard on the licensing process, with the casinos added to the budget this year.

With a gambling expansion already on the table, there may be no room for iGaming. The proponents will have a lot of convincing to do if they want to see online gaming as well as the land-based options move forward.

There is support for the new measure already, but not by lawmakers. The iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA Growth) have come out in support on the measure. The state advocacy director for the group, John Pappas, came out in support.

Pappas state that the group continues to feel that online casino games need to be regulated in New York along with sports betting. Pappas gave kudos to the Senator for leading the effort to ensure that all online gaming consumers are protected, and the state is able to reap the benefits from tax revenues.

In the filing, Addabbo noted that mobile sports betting saw a strong start once it launched in New York State. The latest weekly figures from the industry were released when Addabbo made the bill announcement. Over $2.8 billion was bet in the first six weeks of mobile operations and $179.3 million was reported in revenue.

With the tax rate, the amount provides over $91 million in taxes for the state since mobile gaming started on January 8. New York is easily the market leader in the mobile sports betting sector within the United States and it stands to reason they could become a leader in iGaming as well.

Addabbo is hoping that the success of the mobile sports betting sector will be an indicator that other lawmakers will see as a reason why the iGaming industry needs to be regulated. It will be interesting to watch and see if the bill is able to push forward or if there just isn’t enough support for yet another addition to the gambling industry in the state.

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