Legislators Introduce Bills Aimed at Reducing NY Sports Betting Tax Rate

Legislators Introduce Bills Aimed at Reducing NY Sports Betting Tax Rate
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With Tuesday marking the two-month anniversary of legalized mobile New York sports betting, two proponents of getting the historic legislation through in the first place now would like to see the state’s extraordinary tax rate decrease.

Late last week, state Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, introduced Bill S08471 (coinciding with state Assemblyman Gary Pretlow’s A08658). The bills aim to lower the 51% tax rate for mobile sportsbooks in the state by adding additional skins over the next two years.

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Growing Numbers of Operators Proposed

The two bills call for the state to raise the number of sportsbooks licenses from the current nine to no fewer than 14 by Jan. 31, 2023. This will allow the tax rate to go from 51% to 35%. By Jan. 31, 2024, the total number of mobile sportsbooks could go to no fewer than 16, which again would lower the tax rate from 35% to 25%.

With Resorts World New York launching last week, the only remaining operator not taking wagers among the nine originally licensed is BallyBet New York, which expects to launch next month.

The first cleared to launch Jan. 8 were Caesars Sportsbook New York, FanDuel New York, BetRivers New York and Draft Kings New York. Next up, on Jan. 17, was BetMGM New York, followed by PointsBet New York (Jan. 25) and WynnBET New York (Feb. 4).

The 51% tax rate is tied with New Hampshire for the largest in the nation. New Jersey, for instance, has a 13% tax rate.

The new proposals also offer other mobile providers who applied the first time in the state but did not make the cut to re-apply. Those would include Barstool Sports (Penn National Gaming), Bet365, Fanatics, FoxBet and theScore.

Other highlights of both bills include the inclusion of minority-controlled mobile sports betting operators and the ability for current and future operators to deduct promotional play of which they are taxed.

Pursuing Online Interactive Wagering

In late February, Addabbo introduced his then-second bill in a span of two weeks, one he hoped could bring online interactive gaming to the state. That bill, S8412, would include any authorized casino slot or table game determined to be suitable for any online wagering. The key bill points include: casinos would house servers (just like sports betting); two skins for each license holder, which would include both casinos and tribes; 25% tax rate (sports betting is 51%) and master licenses will have a $2 million fee plus $10 million for each online skin.

If I Can Make It There

Figures released by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) last Friday showed mobile sports wagering posted a handle of $350.3 million for Feb. 21-27, marking the seventh consecutive week total handle has exceeded the $350 million mark.

Overall mobile Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) came in at $25.34 million, the second week in a row and third of the last four in which the total GGR was more than $25 million.

From Jan. 8 through Feb. 27, overall handle for all providers stands at $3.16 billion, with GGR at $204.69 million and taxes to the state at $104.39 million.



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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