Debates, bills, and legislative amendments are all part of New York’s unique gambling history. The state approved a budget that would allow for online gaming in 2021. In January 2022, New York became the 18th state to legalize online gambling, ushering in the future that is now taking shape.
The seemingly endless legislative amendments on gambling in individual American states continue and are unlikely to end anytime soon owing to the new appreciation for legalized online gambling. The controversies surrounding the New York legislation can hardly allow a moment of calm or complacency in the state, whose gambling industry is still in its infancy. Here, we keep up with the latest developments in the state’s gambling laws.
The City of New York Will Approve a Limited-Operator Model
New York is set to approve the proposed limited–operator model for online sports betting. The model has sparked heated debate because the governor supports it while legislators and gaming industry players oppose it. It will be included in the New York State budget for 2022.
The New York Lottery will have to request proposals from two mobile gaming operators under the new model. The licenses will be subcontracted by the New York Lottery to Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive. The four companies are the state’s only authorized sportsbook operators.
The New York State government did not reveal much information about the bid model. It is known, however, that the model is part of its regulatory efforts to maintain control over the relatively new gambling industry. The budget legislation, once implemented, will primarily benefit approved sportsbook operators because they will be able to bid for one of the licenses. It will, however, be detrimental to some industry players, including the in-stadium betting kiosks located in various sports venues throughout the state.
The New York Senate has Introduced a Second iGaming Bill
Another recent development is the receipt of the state’s second iGaming bill by the New York Senate. In February, New York Senator Joseph Addabbo sparked the year 2022 by proposing a new iGaming bill. The new bill aims to grow the state’s gambling industry by legalizing interactive gaming. The bill also seeks to provide New York residents with access to platforms where they can gamble on online casino games. However, it restricts players’ choices by allowing them to play games only on licensed platforms while in the state.
The new legislation will give the New York State Gaming Commission the authority to issue online casino gaming licenses to casino operators. The commission will also have the legal authority to issue gaming licenses to Native American tribes within New York. The Native American Tribe must have signed a ‘mobile interactive gaming wagering’ agreement with the New York State Gaming Commission. It must also be a part of a valid tribal-state gaming compact in order to be eligible for the new license.
The registered licensed casino operators will be allowed to use no more than two wagering platforms. The two platforms, however, must be approved by the commission. The operators will also have to pay $2 million, and their partners who operate the online brands will have to pay a one-time fee of $10 million.
The bill was introduced a month after the state’s official launch of mobile sports betting. The state handled nearly $2 million in tax revenues in the first month. This demonstrates the enormous revenue potential of its gambling industry. Senator Joseph Addabbo believes that if the pending bill is approved, New York will gain more than $120 million in tax revenue, to the benefit of its residents.
The second iGaming bill was submitted to the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering. Senator Addabbo chairs the relevant committee. The New York State Legislature has until June 2, 2022 to pass legislation. The bill must be approved within a short period of time because the current legislative session will end then. If it does not pass, it will need to be taken up by the next session from the beginning of the process.
Possibility of Other States Following Suit
New York’s online gambling legislation appears to be following the current trend of accepting iGaming in various American states. Despite previous opposition, the state is providing access to iGaming activities to the state’s 20 million residents. As a result, the gambling industry has demonstrated its ability to significantly benefit the state through revenue and taxes.
There is a high likelihood that other states will follow suit. Maryland and other states may soon change their minds, given the numerous ways they stand to benefit from the gambling industry. Within a year, we can expect legal sportsbooks to open in ten or more states, and this trend may continue until all states in the United States legalize online gambling.