Casino News

New York Gov. Leaves iGaming Out of 2024 Budget

Attempts to legalize online casinos in the Empire State have suffered another setback, as New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has recently released her 2024 executive budget. On Tuesday, the governor published the budget, and unfortunately for iGaming proponents, online casinos did not cut. The only gaming-related initiatives on the list were pari-mutuels.

Sen. Joseph Addabbo has been one of the largest supporters of the legalization of mobile casinos, much like he was to online sports betting. The lawmaker wants to use the momentum from digital sports wagering and introduce iGaming in a similar fashion, which would help the state with the upcoming budget deficit. But he will have to wait a little bit more.

There‘s Still Hope

The fact that Gov. Hochul has left out iGaming of the 2024 executive budget, does not necessarily mean that the push for online casinos is over. Last week, Mr. Addabbo filed SB 8185, which would legalize any internet-based version or substantial equivalent of a table game, slot machine, or any other game as set forth and approved by the New York State Gaming Commission.

His latest effort is the second consecutive year in which he has attempted to legalize it. Still, the governor had no plans on introducing iCasino offerings to the state, which already has a booming legal sports betting market at its disposal. However, with the governor’s support, the senator does not want to make a heavy push for it, and it will most likely remain for 2025.

His newest legislation or SB 8185 would change sports betting law to allow online casinos in the Empire State. Operators would be existing mobile sportsbooks, commercial and tribal casinos, and video lottery terminal companies. They will be taxed at 30.5%, similar to last year’s bill, and a license for 10 years, would cost them US$2 million.

In the meantime, in the 2024 budget, the governor will focus its gaming efforts on horse racing. The first item is to extend pari-mutuel tax rates and simulcast provisions for another year. The other one would require Capital Off-Track Betting Corporation to spend US$1 million of its capital acquisition fund on operational expenses for another year, provided some provisions are met.

Sportsbooks Back iGaming Introduction

Recently, online sports betting operators licensed by the Empire State have also expressed their support for online casinos. A trade group consisting of DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Fanatics, called the Sports Betting Alliance highlighted the benefit of interactive gaming in the state by launching a 30-second ad on TV and digital channels.

It states that allowing online casino games in the state, could decrease deficits and help families and schools. The ad continues by citing that iGaming produced US$6 billion in tax revenue in 2022 and currently digital gambling is legally offered in six states across the country. Those jurisdictions are New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Delaware.