New York Democratic Senator Joe Addabbo says he looks forward to discussing the legalization of online casinos with Gov. Kathy Hochul by the end of the year.
Addabbo joins 34 incumbent Democrats and 14 Republicans to earn reelection in November. But perhaps the biggest win was the official election of Hochul. Ever since taking over from ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Hochul has been a vocal backer of expanded gambling in NY.
“Gov. Hochul and her administration have been so amenable. So willing to have an open-door discussion about gaming: mobile sports betting, downstate licenses, and horse racing. Something we couldn’t even fathom to think about under a previous administration,” Addabbo said.
Addabbo played a crucial role in the expansion of gambling in New York, including the legalization of sports betting. After winning reelection in November, Addabbo will look to bring New York online casino games to the Empire State by 2023.
Sen. Addabbo kicking off New York online casino discussions
Speaking with PlayNY, Addabbo said he plans to use fact-based analysis when speaking with his colleagues to help pursue the legalization of online casinos.
“They know me to just be rational in terms of what we’re trying to promote here: the jobs, the revenue funding, the educational funding, the addiction issues,” Addabbo said.
“All I use is facts and figures. They know we can have a rational conversation, I hear their concerns. Many of their concerns sometimes get incorporated into the statutory language, and they’re thankful that we include them.”
Addabbo said New York will always need revenue and educational funds. Thus, work to legalize online casinos needs to begin now.
“I look forward to having a conversation with the Hochul administration before January, before the Executive Budget and even during the budget process.”
Experts estimate a regulated NY online casino market could generate upwards of $3 billion in annual revenue.
Passing a bill to expand gambling in New York was no easy task. However, Addabbo said proponents of online gambling would follow the same formula that helped usher in sports betting.
Among these, Addabbo points to input from industry stakeholders and feedback from groups both for and against online gambling. “It’s a formula that has worked in the past with mobile sports betting. And I’m hopeful that it can work again.”