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Addabbo files revised New York igaming bill

| By Robert Fletcher
New York state senator Joseph Addabbo has introduced a new bill that would legalise online casino and internet lottery in the Empire State.
illegal gambling

Tabled yesterday (11 January), Senate Bill S8185 has been referred to the New York Senate racing, gaming and wagering committee.

It represents the latest effort by Addabbo to launch legal online casino in New York. His last attempt was in early 2023 with S4856, which had a similar goal as the latest bill. However, it ultimately failed to pass.

What is in the New York bill?

Key information in SB S8185 includes eligibility for licences.

Eligible parties include New York’s land-based casinos, which consist of four upstate casinos and three downstate facilities that are currently in development.

Three racetracks can also apply. Three New York tribes are also eligible to seek licences as they having a gaming compact with the state. These are the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, Seneca Nation of Indians and the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. They will also require a compact amendment.

Three additional licences will be awarded through a bidding process. Applicants eligible for the licences will need to commit to an affirmative action programme approved by the Commission.

Each casino or operator that secures a licence will be required to pay a one-time fee of $2.0m (£1.6m/€1.8m). Any independent contractors appointed to provide an igaming platform for an operator will also need to pay $10.0m.

The deal also states that live dealer studios must be located within the state of New York. To qualify for an interactive gaming licence, those operating a live dealer game must enter into a labour agreement with a union.

Online lottery included in the bill

As well as igaming, the bill also gives detail on proposed internet lottery rules.

The bill proposes allowing consumers in New York to play any joint, multi-jurisdiction and out-of-state lottery online. This could be through a mobile device or desktop computer.

In addition, it states the New York State Division of Lottery would oversee sales of tickets online. 

Should the bill pass into law, it would come into immediate effect.

Tax set at 31.5% of igaming GGR

As for tax, licence-holders will pay a rate of 31.5% of base taxable gross gaming revenue from igaming in New York.

From the tax collected by the state, $11m will be distributed by the Commission and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports to fund gambling addiction treatment.

Other proposals require operators to have in place safeguards procedures to protect users from gambling harms. These include the ability to self-exclude from online gambling. In addition, legal igaming will only be available to players aged 21 or over.

New York aiming to replicate online sports betting success

The new bill comes almost two years to the day that New York launched legal internet sports betting. New York’s regulated market opened on 10 January 2022 and has grown to become the largest market in the US.

In December 2023, New York set a new state revenue record, generating $188.3m in online sports betting revenue. This surpassed the existing New York record of $166.3m, set in October 2023.

New York in November also reported a record $2.11bn internet sports betting handle. This was not only an all-time high for the state but also the entire country.

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