NY’s iGaming Does Not Make the One-House Budget Cut

This week, the New York Assembly and Senate issued their one-house budget proposals, however, neither of them included the legalization of iGaming in the state in 2023. The news does not come as surprise as previously Sen. Joe Addabbo shared the chances of its introduction were low. This means that the legislation will be pushed for next year.

The legalization of online casino games in the Empire State would follow the introduction of its mobile sports betting market which debuted last January. If passed, iGaming would allow licensed sportsbooks, casinos, tribes, and racinos in the state to offer legal online slots, table games, and live dealer games for New Yorkers. But they will have to wait a little bit longer.

Not Chance for 2023

A while back, Sen. Addabbo stated that it was not a good sign when the state’s Gov. Kathy Hochul did not include iGaming in the FY 2024 executive budget. In the middle of February, Addabbo-sponsored Bill S4856 was filed with the Senate. It stated that if passed it would give each regulated New York sports betting operator a freeway to online casino license.

February’s bill was a last-minute effort to legalize online gambling in the Empire State in 2023. However, its exclusion from the one-house budget, means that its chances are now non-existent for this year. In February, Sen. Addabbo came up with a similar bill to Bill S4856, but it also did not gain any traction and lacked support to go through.

However, the senator vows that this will not be the end of the iGaming push, as last week, he commented that interactive casinos are a matter of when and not if. He and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow are hopeful that the introduction of iGaming would provide more resources for the state’s problem gambling efforts. However, others believe that it would only deteriorate problem gambling

Last month’s bill also aimed to channel tax money from online casinos to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s fund. The MTA is in desperate need of funds, and if iGaming revenue is steered to it, license fees and taxes from downstate casinos could be put into other sectors. According to Addabbo’s estimations, the state is losing US$3 billion annually for not running iGaming.

Changes to Gambling Ads on the Way

Meanwhile, in February, members of the New York State Gaming Commission almost unanimously voted in favour of changing sports betting advertisements. Some of the new restrictions would ban false, deceptive or misleading statements in ads, while also prohibiting the terms “free” or “free of risk”. There’s also a requirement to “clearly and conspicuously” disclose all material terms and conditions of a promotion.

Prior to that, the commission discussed whether to limit the use of the word “play” in advertising by lottery courier services. In the proposal, the regulator suggests adding limits on how the companies can advertise to protect customers as part of an effort to prevent false, deceptive, or misleading advertising by providers.

Source: Boecker, Matt “Hopes Of 2023 Legalization Ends For NY Online Casinos With One-House Budget ExclusionPlayNY, March 14, 2023

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Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat – turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.