The introduction of regulated online casino games in New York seems to be a matter of when not if, as lawmakers grow extremely confident about it. One of the most enthusiastic and optimistic lawmakers is State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens who is a major supporter of the topic. He even promised to push forward for the legalization of iGaming in the 2023 state budget.
After the recent success of the state’s mobile sports betting market, local legislators such as Mr. Addabbo are looking to advance the state’s gaming sector and secure additional revenue for the state. And similar to the online sportsbook, iGaming operators will be also tied to retail casinos once they have been legalized by the local legislature.
It Could Take a While
This week, John A. Pappas, founder and CEO of Corridor Consulting. Pappas said that Senator Addabbo needs to remain patient despite his commitment to the legalization of iGaming. Mr. Pappas explained that the lawmaker must keep in mind the pace of the New York State Legislature and other regulatory bodies in the state.
In addition to that, the state advocacy director for iDEA Growth said that the introduction of daily fantasy sports and online sports betting took a long time. It must be mentioned that after its 2016 legalization daily fantasy sports faced a heavy legal obstacle, and the issue was resolved this year in March when the New York Court of Appeals reversed an appeal.
Mr. Addabbo’s proposal would see commercial brick-and-mortar casinos team up with online ones to launch iGaming in the state. And until the state approves the last three downstate licenses, only four of the state’s numerous commercial casinos will have full-scale casino licenses. And currently, full licenses are the ones that allow retail casinos to partner with online casinos if the bills are enacted as laws.
However, the downstate casino licensing process is far from an advanced stage at the moment. This week, the New York State Gaming Commission revealed the first members for the Gaming Facility Location Board, which will be tasked with reviewing and determining proposals for location from downstate candidates. Then the approved applicants will return for a final vote at the commission.
Is Tax Rate Problematic?
Despite the success of the mobile sports betting market, there are currently talks that volume will not recover to the previous highs. This is due to the fact that after the recovery of a weekly betting handle with the first week of the NFL, volume dropped again in the next games. And experts believe that this could be due to the high tax rate of 51% for operators.
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said that the lower volume is not surprising. He elaborated that at the start of the market operators were offering free play and matching play, which was also included in the state’s overall handle. That is why the handle seems so low now. This is why operators are spending significantly less on promotions leading to lower volume.
Source: Fletcher, Heather “Legal New York Online Casino No Longer Seems Hypothetical” NewYorkSportsDay, October 4, 2022