New York's Online Gambling Bill Amended

Quick Intro

Over two years since New York introduced legal online sports betting, the state has seen notable success and growth in this sector. Lawmakers are now exploring further expansion into online gambling.

Sen. Joseph Addabbo’s Legislative Push

Sen. Joseph Addabbo has been a driving force behind expanding New York’s online gambling framework. Last month, he put forward Senate Bill 8185 (S8185), aiming to legalize online gambling and lotteries statewide. Initially assigned to the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee in January 2024, the bill recently underwent amendments to further define the iGaming sector’s future. This revision underscores the presence of online gambling in seven US states, advocating for a competitive market inclusive of both commercial and tribal operators. However, tribal entities must forego exclusive gaming rights on their lands to participate, opening their territories to other licensed iGaming services.

Detailed Tax Structure and Union Worker Engagement

A significant update in S8185 addresses the collaboration between iGaming operators and unionized labor. Operators must negotiate labor peace agreements with unions representing or seeking to represent gaming and hospitality workers in New York, highlighting a commitment to union labor as part of the licensing process.

The proposed tax rate for online gambling is set at 31.5% of gross gaming revenue, directing these funds to the New York lottery for educational aid. Additionally, the bill earmarks approximately $11 million annually to combat problem gambling and support education, aligning with efforts by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports. This comprehensive approach seeks not only to expand gambling options but also to ensure responsible gaming practices and contribute to state educational funding.

Enhancing New York’s Educational and Social Services Through iGaming Revenue

The proposed legislation spearheaded by Sen. Joseph Addabbo not only aims to broaden New York’s gambling landscape but also sets a precedent for utilizing iGaming revenue to bolster the state’s educational and social welfare programs. By dedicating a significant portion of the tax revenue from online gambling operations to the New York lottery fund, the initiative promises to inject much-needed financial support into the state’s educational system. Moreover, the allocation of $11 million annually towards problem gambling treatment and education underscores a commitment to addressing the potential societal impacts of gambling expansion, ensuring that the state’s foray into iGaming is both economically beneficial and socially responsible.