Published: January 12, 2024

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo files 2024 bill to legalize icasino in New York, with 30.5% tax rate to fill state budget hole

“I truly think that 2024 should be the year for iGaming and iLottery in New York given the fiscal situation of the state,” State Sen. Joseph Addabbo said on Thursday’s episode of the Lawyers, Lines, and Money podcast.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo delivered Thursday on his recent promise to introduce a new bill to legalize New York online casino gaming. Addabbo’s bill, SB 8185, could bring legal iCasino to the fourth-most populated state in the U.S. 

“I truly think that 2024 should be the year for iGaming and iLottery in New York given the fiscal situation of the state,” Addabbo said on Thursday’s episode of the Lawyers, Lines, and Money podcast

Addabbo cited the potential revenue generation from casino apps as a major reason for New York to consider legalization, especially as the state deals with a budget deficit. He previously estimated New York could generate $475 million annually in tax revenue from mobile casinos.

While New York doesn’t have iCasino gaming, nearby ConnecticutNew Jersey, and Pennsylvania are among the few U.S. states that do regulate online casinos.

Bill breakdown

Addabbo’s new bill contains numerous similarities to last year’s legislative effort

Once again, the bill calls for licensees to pay a 30.5% tax rate on gross gaming revenue. As with last year’s legislation, each casino or operator conducting iGaming is required to pay the New York Gaming Commission a one-time $2 million fee. The bill also requires any independent contractor providing an operator’s iGaming platform and displaying its branding to pay a one-time fee of $10 million.

Not only would resort casinos have access to licenses, but so would federally recognized tribes with relationships with the state, video lottery parlors that offer live racing, and existing sports betting operators.

This year’s bill features the inclusion of iLottery, and it allocates $11 million worth of funding to those with gambling addictions. Addabbo has stressed the importance of using tax revenue to aid problem gamblers. 

On his Thursday podcast appearance, Addabbo said he doesn’t see legal online casino games cannibalizing retail casinos. 

“I see iGaming as a supplement to brick-and-mortar, not a detriment or cannibalization factor,” Addabbo said. 

Next steps

The immediate next step for the bill is a stop in the Senate’s Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. 

While New York’s legislative session lasts into June, Addabbo views online casino legalization as a budget issue, and budget discussions last through the first three months of 2024, with a final budget approval needed by April 1. 

Those logistical challenges and expectations crunch the time frame for legislators to come to a potential agreement on how to legalize mobile casino gaming.

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