New York Senator Says iGaming is Inevitable

SBNY » New York Senator Says iGaming is Inevitable

As the New York legislative session ended in late May, no bill was approved to legalize online casino gambling. While New Yorkers will have to wait to play their favorite casino games, a state senator stated after the session that it will happen.

Sen Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. is under the belief that the state will legalize online casino gambling soon, stating, “I think iGaming in New York is inevitable.” That has to be good news for those in the Empire State, who want iGaming legalized, as he is not only on the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee but also the chairman.

The next session for the New York Legislature is in 2023.

New Yorkers will have to continue to travel to neighboring states to play their favorite casino games online: While it is not good news that the bill that would have legalized iGaming was not approved, it is good news that New York residents do not have to go far to play casino games online. Six states have legal online casino gambling and three of them in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey share a border with the Empire State.

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The three states that border New York are likely happy the bill was not approved, as when iGaming is legal in New York, they will lose money. Many New Yorkers travel to neighboring states to gamble online, and when iGaming is legalized in the Empire State, that will be a thing of the past. Before sports betting NY was legalized, New Yorkers flocked to New Jersey to bet on sports.

The Money is in iGaming

Addabbo Jr. also stated that he believes that iGaming will surpass sports betting revenue in New York, saying, “iGaming is where the real money is.” There may be truth to that, as in neighboring Connecticut, iGaming has brought in more revenue than sports betting.

More revenue that sports betting would be huge for the New York tax coffers: Sports betting launched in the Empire State on January 8, and from then until May 29, the eight online sportsbooks have paid the state a whopping $270.5 million in taxes. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has acknowledged the significant tax money that sports betting revenue has brought to the state and said it is “going to important programs that will improve the lives of all New Yorkers.” New York is tied with New Hampshire for the highest tax rate on sports betting at 51% of gross revenue.

There are eight online sportsbooks currently live in New York, and they were in hopes that the last legislative session would have lowered the tax rate. However, Addabbo Jr. said he would be open to discussing that topic in the future.

From January to May, New York has led the U.S. in handle with $7.4 billion in sports bets made. The state also broke the national record in handle ($1.625 billion) in the first month of operation in January even though sports betting was not live until the eighth of the month.

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