Less than a month ago, New York Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo introduced a bill to legalize New York online casinos.
According to the senator’s office, New York online casino legalization efforts will continue into Mar. 10 and perhaps Mar. 11. Addabbo’s press secretary, Anthony Giudice, told Bonus on Mar. 9 about online gambling bill discussions in Albany:
“It may not be discussed today and could get pushed to either tomorrow or Saturday. … We are hoping it gets brought up sooner rather than later, but as discussions and debates drag on, the schedule is pretty fluid on when things are brought up.”
New York State Legislature members would need to include the bills to legalize online casino games in New York in their budget discussions. Gov. Kathy Hochul hasn’t done it yet.
Almost a month since Addabbo introduced the bill
On Feb. 15, New York state Sen. Joseph Addabbo introduced SB S4856, intending to legalize online casino gaming. The proposed legislation would permit the following casino games:
- Online slots
- Table games
- Online poker
- Live dealer games with some restrictions on offerings
Poker is not part of the selection, although Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow introduced a poker bill in late January. The SB S4856 allows existing New York online sports betting operators to qualify for online casino licenses and offer these games.
Potential for 29 New York online casinos
Under the bill, 29 licenses would be reserved for:
- Four upstate casinos and three future downstate casinos
- Three Indian tribes
- Eight VLT racinos
- Eight online sportsbooks
- Three competitive bids with a minimum of 5% minority ownership.
The bill also imposes a 30.5% tax rate, a far cry from the 51% that New York gets from its online sportsbook partners.
The bill has a multi-level licensing fee, with each operator paying a one-time fee of $2 million to receive a license. If a licensee wishes to permit another entity to use their license to advertise their brand, the operator will need to pay an additional $10 million.
As for responsible gambling, the bill requires the following:
- $11 million of annual tax revenue to go toward problem gambling.
- Responsible gambling messaging to pop up after $2,500 in lifetime deposits
- $2,500 yearly limit on deposits by credit card
The coming weekend and next weeks crucial for NY online casinos
Addabbo acknowledged that online gambling would face many hurdles to making the next New York budget. Especially because Gov. Kathy Hochul did not include online casinos in the NY budget yet.
New York lawmakers will work hard to develop their one-house budget proposals in the coming three weeks. The final budget is due Apr. 1.