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Addabbo Says New York Online Casino Won’t Make State Budget

New York online casino won’t make the state budget, likely ending chances for iGaming legalization in 2024.

New York Sen. Joseph Addabbo
Photo by Mike Groll, AP file photo
Matthew Kredell Avatar
3 mins read

NEW YORK — New York online casino won’t make the state budget, likely ending chances for iGaming legalization in 2024.

Speaking to PlayUSA after his panel March 7 at the iGaming NEXT Summit in downtown Manhattan, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo said the Senate would not include online casino and iLottery in its one-house budget next week.

“It’s out of the budget but that doesn’t mean we cannot resume that conversation in June or December. It can materialize at any point.”

The Senate officially released its budget proposal late in the day March 11 and did not include online casino. It did include season-long prop bets on award futures and language to put 1% of online sports betting revenue toward problem gambling addiction services.

New York online casino efforts never got off the ground in 2024

In January, New York online casino efforts got off to a bad start when Gov. Kathy Hochul did not include it and online lottery in the executive budget.

Addabbo said when introducing SB8185 that the Senate would not include iGaming in its budget proposal if Hochul didn’t come around by March.

This goes contrary to the New York online sports betting legalization efforts, when the Senate put it in the budget for multiple years despite no action from the governor or Assembly.

Asm. Gary Pretlow told PlayUSA in January that the Assembly would not include New York online casino in its one-house budget.

By not being in the executive budget or either legislative chamber proposal, New York online casino won’t be part of the final budget discussions. The state must complete the 2024-25 Fiscal Year budget by April 1.

“I’ll always be ready, but I’m not going to be the only one saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do it,’ ” Addabbo said. “If the governor wants to do this, we do it. If the governor doesn’t want to do it, we don’t do it.”

Labor, downstate casinos roadblocks for New York online casino

Addabbo projects that New York online casino and online lottery could bring the state more than $1 billion in tax revenue.

New York is looking to make up a budget deficit of more than $4 billion this year. But the state is able to make up that deficit without new revenue or increasing taxes.

The governor wasn’t willing to consider iGaming legalization this year due partially to strong opposition from the New York Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, which fears it could lead to job loss at brick-and-mortar casinos.

Addabbo included a $25 million fund for casino workers in his legislation, hoping to appease the union. He was frustrated that HTC refused to negotiate with him on what it would take to support online casino legislation.

The ongoing downstate casino license process also was a factor.

Addabbo not giving up on 2024 NY iGaming legalization

Addabbo said he wasn’t ready to wave the white flag on legalizing real money online casino in 2024.

New York’s legislative session runs to June 6. However, Addabbo has said in the past that if New York were to legalize online casino this year, it would be through the budget.

“iGaming can happen at any point when the need arises and the initiative to do it arises. I’ve been around so long that I never say never. But right now we’re in a holding pattern. I’m there to talk about it if anyone wants to talk about it.”

If not, Addabbo said he would pick up the effort again in December to urge Hochul to include online casino and iLottery in her executive budget next January. The state could be looking for new revenue at that time, when the budget deficit is expected to exceed $9 billion.

Matthew Kredell Avatar
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Matthew Kredell serves as senior lead writer of legislative affairs involving online gambling at PlayUSA. He began covering efforts to legalize and regulate online gambling in 2007 and has interviewed more than 300 state lawmakers around the country.

View all posts by Matthew Kredell

Matthew Kredell serves as senior lead writer of legislative affairs involving online gambling at PlayUSA. He began covering efforts to legalize and regulate online gambling in 2007 and has interviewed more than 300 state lawmakers around the country.

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