New York igaming advocates frame 2024 legislative push
Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow suggest legalizing igaming and ilottery could replicate sports betting success
New York Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow have confirmed they are preparing a new push to legalize igaming and ilottery in the Empire State in 2024.
In a jointly penned op-ed published by City & State New York, the pair suggested the legalization of online gambling and an online state lottery could generate as much as $1bn for the state in 2024.
Addabbo and Pretlow cited the “tremendous success” of sports betting legalization, which has seen the state take $360.7m in tax revenue in state fiscal year 2021-22, rising to $727.4m during fiscal year 2022-23, more than double the protection from the state comptroller’s office of $357m.
New York’s sportsbook operators have taken more than $31bn in handle since the state went live in January 2022, generating revenue of $2.7bn over the period.
Addabbo and Pretlow also highlighted the impending expiry of Covid-19-era funding from federal authorities, leaving a deficit of $4.3bn in 2024 and $8bn for 2025 from the state’s budget, according to the state comptroller’s office.
The pair have unsuccessfully tried to get igaming through the legislative door earlier this year, with twin bills at both Assembly and Senate level not included in the state’s budget for 2023.
Pointing to the impending deficit, Addabbo and Pretlow suggested there were “many difficult choices” ahead for New York, but claimed the state could double its money with an igaming legalization, confirming that a renewed drive in 2024 would begin.
Expressing their optimism for the passage, the pair revealed the new bill would follow the same framework used in the legalization of sports betting.
They also pointed to examples of neighboring states including New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania – which already offer igaming – and Illinois, Michigan, and New Hampshire, which are among the states that offer ilottery.
“All reports indicate that these states are seeing a net increase in tax revenue from these activities with no detrimental effects on brick-and-mortar businesses such as casinos and convenience stores that sell lottery tickets,” Addabbo and Pretlow wrote.
“Legalizing igaming and ilottery is also better for consumers. As with mobile sports betting, a legal mobile gaming market allows us to prohibit underage players from accessing gaming platforms and provide resources and support for problem gaming – something the illegal market will never do.”
They continued: “At a time of fiscal distress for our state, we cannot continue to allow hundreds of millions of dollars to be funneled into neighboring states or into the pockets of disreputable companies – particularly when those funds could be used to further bolster funding for public schools or other worthy services.
“Now is the time for New York to invest in opportunities that will allow for big economic growth down the road, something we can hardly turn away from as the state faces an impending deficit,” the pair concluded.