The New York Assembly and Senate didn't add online casinos in their one-house budgets thus eliminating its possibility to thrive this year. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow recently stated that he deliberately excluded online gaming in the Racing and Wagering Committee's budget letter.
Senator Joe Addabbo spearheaded a campaign to include iGaming's approval in the Senate budget to provide the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) with more funds in the executive budget. He stated that he was the only state lawmaker fighting for online casinos in the state.
Addabbo added that iGaming won't pass this year despite it being possible to legalize it as a distinct bill after New York's budget process. He won't continue advocating for online casinos' legalization and he left that role to any willing individual or organization.
The legislative chambers are scheduled to vote on the one-house budgets today. Then, the law requires them to complete the state's budget with Governor Kathy Hochul by April 1.
What Made Online Gaming Lack Overwhelming Support in the State?
Some of Pretlow's concerns which he believes will prevent iGaming from being legalized this year include:
- Native Indian tribes aren't certain whether federal laws restrict them from providing iGaming outside their tribal lands
- An extended downstate New York casino license review process
- The New York Hotel & Gaming Trades Council opposed iGaming due to cannibalization
Addabbo hosted a roundtable discussion last week that discussed several concerns. Still, he filed iGaming casino bill S 4856 and said that they could handle all online casino-related concerns. This can occur this year but he cannot lead it alone.
The Senator and Assemblyman accused the Hotel & Gaming Trades Council of opposing online casinos' legalization in the state. It claims that online gaming will prompt land-based casinos to fire many workers.
Pretlow stated that gaming operators don't fear cannibalization yet they are the ones who it would affect the most. Still, if it doesn't concern them, he doesn't understand why Hotel Trades is opposing iGaming.
Addabbo added that the state's live dealers who run studios can have up to 2,000 new job vacancies. He revealed that they assured Hotel Trades that their existing casinos' staff wouldn't get cannibalized. Spectrum conducted studies for New York, New Jersey, and Indiana which discovered that iGaming has significantly increased land-based casinos' revenue.
Are the Highlighted Issues Likely to Extent to 2024?
Many parties are interested in the three New York downstate gaming licenses and the lobby might continue for several years. Addabbo stated that iGaming and downstate casinos are different products since their only similarity is that casinos can access online gaming.
The Gaming Commission can decide to concentrate on downstate casinos and ignore iGaming. But, the Senator believes that the Commission should balance the two sectors.
Pretlow initially wanted to prioritize downstate gaming licenses over iGaming. Even so, he changed his mind and decided to focus on iGaming's expansion.
Gov. Hochul added downstate casinos' revenue that the MTA will receive in 2026 in the executive budget. Yet, Addabbo wanted online casinos to fill the void since downstate casinos wouldn't have started making profit by then. He can restart the argument next year.