Addabbo Introduces Bill to Legalize iGaming in New York

Addabbo Introduces Bill to Legalize iGaming in New York
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Is iGaming coming to the Empire State? 
 
State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., one of the lead architects of mobile sports betting in the state and a proponent of gaming expansion, late Wednesday introduced Senate Bill S4856 — an act to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to interactive gaming. The bill now is in the hands of the state Senate's Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering (which Addabbo heads).

In summary of the nine-page proposed legislation, the state would legalize NY online casino gaming, including live dealer games, slots and table games such as blackjack.

Live dealer studios would need to be located and physically present in the state and any operator must agree to “produce an affidavit stating it shall enter into a labor peace agreement with labor organizations that are actively engaged in representing or attempting to represent gaming or hospitality industry workers.”

This will bring more guaranteed job opportunities into the state.

How It Would Work

Providers of online sports betting in New York, tribes, casinos and racinos would have access to licenses, with an additional three online iGaming licenses (with at least 5% minority ownership) to be available via a bidding process.

Eligible entities would have to pay a one-time $2 million licensing fee, which would be valid for 10 years, and revenues would be taxed at 30.5%. If, however, the licensee is going to let an online operator, for example, use that license to promote its brand, it would cost an additional $10 million.

The decreased tax rate would provide a huge incentive for all companies willing to apply, as mobile NY betting apps and other companies currently must pay a tax rate of 51%, which is tied for the highest in the nation with New Hampshire.

Regulation would be implemented by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).

Potentially 21 operators could come to market.

“What I need is the Governor's Office to say we are interested. I can't be the only one to propose and I need others to come on board,” Addabbo said in a Thursday afternoon call with EmpireStakes.com. “So, around late February or early March, we are going to schedule a roundtable discussion up in Albany and talk about iGaming and everything that surrounds it, in the hope we can get some support so the Governor can possibly add to her current budget proposal.”

April 1 is the state budget deadline.

“Gov. Hochul has the opportunity for a 30-day budget amendment around March 1 and then around the second week or so, both the Senate and Assembly propose their versions of the budget,” added Addabbo. “Every year we don't do iGaming, we lose a billion dollars to regulated states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania and another billion on revenue. It’s a lost opportunity of $2 billion a year. This proposal is a fiscal element that would give us significant revenue.”

Stay tuned for the state's version of March Madness. Count on EmpireStakes.com, your primary source for NY sportsbook promos, to keep you informed along the way.

 
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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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