Friday, April 1, would have been the last day for New York to pass its yearly budget. But, it seems that the state is choosing to follow the same trend it did in 2021 and many other years before. Meanwhile, the potential of expanding gaming will remain unclear until later this week.
For instance, it is unclear whether the issues regarding casino licenses for downstate and other sports gambling licenses will be addressed in the New York budget. There are also other political issues that need addressing.
For example, Governor Kathy Hochul plans for bail changes to New York’s funding for the Buffalo Bills stadium. Kathy said on Thursday afternoon that there was a lot to be addressed about the budget. The governor also promised that she would remain devoted to ensuring the budget would reflect the state’s main concerns and primary issues.
Kathy will be meeting with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to negotiate in good faith.
Kathy added that residents should trust that progress was being made and officials were ready to sacrifice time until they all came to an agreement. Here are the two gaming issues likely featured in the budget.
The final budget is expected to feature details about the last three casino licenses. These are slotted for Westchester, Orange, Rockland Counties, and Long Island.
Several groups are lobbying for Resorts World New York City in Queens and Empire City Casino in Yonkers and to become full-fledged casinos. Currently, these facilities provide video lottery and electronic table games. With full-fledge licenses, these facilities will be able to operate Las Vegas-style slot machines and live dealer table games just like casinos in the upstate.
New York voters made a statutory amendment in 2013 to allow the legalization of commercial casinos. But, other provisions gave upstate casinos to launch their casinos seven years prior to downstate casinos.
This would allow upstate casinos to gain roots and attract and retain their share of clients before all clients would flow to downstate casinos. Upstate casinos should launch by 2023.
Following the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, several officials have called for downstate licenses to be rewarded one year before the originally set date. Senator Joseph Addabbo of Queens, and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow from Mount Vernon, are on the front calling for these changes.
The other gaming measure expected in the budget is a proposal from Addabbo and Pretlow. The two officials propose an increase in mobile sports betting licenses.
The two are gaming committee heads and are interested in allowing more state sportsbook operators. Last year’s budget led to the approval of nine sports betting operators, with eight already operating since January 8.
The Senate and Assembly chambers propose seven other sportsbook operators. These would also pay 51 percent, as other approved sportsbooks operating in the state.
However, Addabbo has expressed that legislators are waiting for a financial analysis before proceeding with their proposal. The Senator added that they would only progress with their plans if they made economic sense for New York residents. He also said that they would ensure they improve sports betting for New Yorkers.