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NY Legislators Suggest Legalizing Online Casinos to Address Budget Shortfall

Quick Intro

In New York, key lawmakers leading gambling committees are pushing to expand online gambling legislation. They propose that legalizing online casinos and a state lottery in New York could generate an additional $1 billion in revenue, aiding in bridging budget deficits expected in the coming years.

Impact of Online Sports Betting on New York’s Revenue

Senators Addabbo and Pretlow have observed that legal online sports betting, launched in January 2022, has been a significant success in New York.

In its first year, online sports betting yielded nearly $1 billion in tax revenue, surpassing any other state. This revenue primarily supports educational initiatives and sports programs for underprivileged youth.

With the state comptroller forecasting a budget shortfall exceeding $9 billion for the next fiscal year, Addabbo and Pretlow believe that introducing iGaming and iLottery could potentially double the impressive revenues from online sports betting, thereby contributing significantly to the state’s budget.

Long-time proponents of online sports betting, these lawmakers are now actively pursuing legislation to sanction online lottery and casino operations in New York, which could become law in the current session.

They propose leveraging the existing mobile sports betting framework for these new ventures, projecting an additional $1 billion annually in revenue for the state.

Sports Betting Taxes

Sports Betting Taxes

New York Aims to Capitalize on Online Gambling Market

New York, upon legalizing iGaming, would join neighboring states like New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, along with other dominant iGaming states such as Illinois, Michigan, and New Hampshire that also offer iLottery. Reports suggest these states have seen tax revenue boosts from online gambling without negatively impacting traditional casinos.

Addabbo and Pretlow argue that New York can no longer afford to lose revenue to neighboring states or unregulated entities, especially when these funds could enhance public school funding or other crucial services.

They also propose a $25 million fund to support workers in land-based casinos, ensuring that the introduction of online casinos in 2024 does not undermine traditional casinos.

Addabbo aims to finalize the online casino bill before Governor Kathy Hochul’s executive budget announcement next month. If the governor includes online casino revenue in her budget, it could spark further discussions and potential inclusion in the final budget, paving the way for a significant shift in New York’s gambling landscape.

Addressing Concerns and Ensuring Responsible Gambling

As New York moves towards embracing online gambling, lawmakers are also focusing on addressing potential concerns. Ensuring responsible gambling is a key priority, with plans to implement robust measures to prevent problem gambling. The proposed legislation includes provisions for setting betting limits, offering self-exclusion programs, and providing resources for gambling addiction.
This approach aims to create a balanced and responsible gambling environment, safeguarding players while maximizing the state’s revenue potential. By responsibly managing the expansion of online gambling, New York seeks to offer a safe and regulated platform for bettors, mirroring the success of its online sports betting venture and reinforcing its commitment to ethical gambling practices.

Final Thoughts

New York’s push towards legalizing online casinos and a state lottery, as proposed by key legislators, stands as a strategic move to address significant budget deficits. Building on the success of online sports betting, this expansion into iGaming and iLottery could potentially double the state’s revenue from gambling.

By joining neighboring states in the online gambling market and ensuring responsible gambling practices, New York is poised to create a safe, regulated environment for bettors, while simultaneously boosting its economy and supporting public services and education. This progressive approach could mark a pivotal transformation in the state’s gambling landscape.

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