New York Betting Bills Under Scrutiny with Budget Deadline Friday

New York Betting Bills Under Scrutiny with Budget Deadline Friday
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With mobile New York sports betting flourishing for the past couple of months, some other bills could see some more discussion and progress as the state fiscal year budget deadline approaches this Friday, April 1.

Both the state Assembly and state Senate will be working long hours over the next few days to put their respective budget proposals on the table to Gov. Kathy Hochul for possible inclusion in the final budget.

Here are some of the bills over the past month that could see some daylight:

Fantasy Sports

Less than 24 hours after the New York Court of Appeals (NYCA) declared daily fantasy sports (DFS) was here to stay, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Jr., chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, introduced a bill to expand the amount of DFS operators within the Empire State.

Bill S8628 (Assembly version: A9449) calls for the issuing of temporary permits to certain fantasy sports operators that were not offering contests to persons located in New York before Nov. 10, 2015, when DFS became legal in New York.

Those operators may apply for a temporary permit, subject to approval by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), provided that the operator meets all regulatory approvals.

The Senate and Assembly versions of the bill are both in their respective committees, with the next step to get on the floor calendars of each.

New York iGaming

In late February, Addabbo introduced Bill S8412, in hopes of bringing online interactive gaming to the state. The bill includes any authorized casino slot or table game determined to be suitable for online wagering in the state.

Among the key bill points: Casinos would house servers (just like sports betting); two skins for each license holder, which would include both casinos and tribes; a 25% tax rate (sports betting is 51%) and master licenses will have a $2 million fee plus $10 million for each online skin.

The bill now is in the committee Addabbo chairs, with a hearing date still to be determined.

Lowering Tax Rate

This month, Addabbo introduced Bill S08471 to coincide 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 (brands that are allowed to operate under a master license) over the next two years.

Those two original 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, this time from 35% to 25%.

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 only remaining operator not taking wagers among the nine originally licensed is BallyBet New York, which expects to launch sometime in April.

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

Both bills also offer the ability for current and future operators to deduct promotional play for which they are taxed.

Mobile Kiosks

In mid-February, the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee unanimously voted, 7-0, to approve S7536, a bill that will allow online sports betting operators to place mobile kiosks at pro sports venues, auto racing facilities, horse race tracks, off-track betting sites (OTBs) and video lottery terminals (VLTs).

Also sponsored by Addabbo, the bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.

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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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