The introduction of regulated online casinos in New York has been discussed for a while now. According to a new industry-backed survey, a majority of the public is in favour of legalizing iGaming and Internet lottery sales in the Empire State. Estimations suggest that it could transform into a billion-dollar market and hit the ground running.
Over the last couple of years, the Empire State made some significant advancements in its gambling industry, as in January 2022, it introduced its mobile sports betting sector. But that is not all, as currently, the state is in the process of awarding three commercial casino licenses in the downstate region. On top of that the state could also be operating an iGaming model.
New Yorkers Support the Proposal
A recent poll from the Parkside Group discovered that 51% of the surveyed by the company supported the legalization of iGaming in the state. Meanwhile, approximately 40% of the surveyed were not in favour of online casinos. The very same poll also discloses that nearly 53% of the residents are also keen on the introduction of Internet lottery sales.
However, the Empire State’s budget issues are a major factor in public support, as the survey discovered that 61% to 33% supported the use of gambling proceeds to fill fiscal shortfalls instead of raising taxes. The report was commissioned by the Sports Betting Alliance, and the telephone poll of 800 registered voters was conducted between October 4 through October 13, 2023.
The issuance of the new poll comes at a great time with iGaming proponents, such as state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, D-Mt. Vernon. The two politicians are looking to submit another legislation to decriminalize online casinos in the state. Mr. Addabbo was also a major supporter and a driving force in the state’s online sports betting expansion.
Recently, the two lawmakers co-authored a report noting that the state which currently suffers almost US$4.3 billion of deficit, can use iGaming revenue to fill budget gaps. They project that it can generate US$1 billion in tax revenue. Mr. Addabbo commented that New York needs to act and introduce iGaming to follow the example of other states and not lose customers to them.
Problem Gambling is a Growing Concern
However, New York officials must be careful with the potential expansion of gambling services as the Empire State has noted an increase in problem gaming. According to the NYS Gaming Commission and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, there has been a surge in people enrolling in voluntary self-exclusion programs after the introduction of mobile sports betting.
New York’s report finds that in the first 12 months of legal online sports wagering, there was a 33% increase in voluntary exclusion requests. It also noted a 23% spike in calls to the state’s HOPEline. That is not all as more women than men have enrolled in the state’s self-exclusion program in the last two-and-a-half years.