New York’s online gambling scene is finally thriving after the Empire State legalized online sports betting, thanks to approval from the New York State Gaming Commission in January 2022. Now, sports betting in New York is booming, with over $700 million in taxes having been generated.
While sports betting in New York is thriving due to recent legalization, what’s the deal with online casinos? Well, it’s not quite the same good news for internet casino fans in New York – yet.
Are Online Casinos in New York Legal?
Online casino platforms in the US are legal in some states but not in others. Granted, the legalization and subsequent success of New York’s sports betting scene has seen the industry become more widely accepted – even embraced. However, real money online casinos aren’t legal as of yet in the Empire State – emphasis on “yet”.
Will Online Casinos Be Legalized in New York?
Experts and officials believe that the legalization of online casinos in New York is only a case of “when”, not “if”. Given the recent success of sports betting in NY, there’s power in that estimation. Why? Because the state can acquire heavy revenue streams if it does legalize online casinos.
Plus, casino operators, government officials, and other stakeholders with their fingers in the gambling pie are likely aware of the benefits that come from allowing online casinos to operate in New York; the success in the neighboring states of West Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania is a testament to this.
As it stands, Governor Kathy Hochul’s $227 billion FY2024 executive budget currently excludes iGaming – the category under which online casinos fall. So what does this mean for New York online casinos? For now, they’ll have to wait it out until 2024.
What Gambling Bills Have Been Proposed in New York?
On February 15, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo proposed bill S4856 in an attempt to legalize online casinos in New York – as well as an iGaming tax rate set at 30.5%. The bill also gave all regulated New York sports betting providers a path to legitimate online casino licensing. However, the plan failed to receive budget support and will thus be shelved for another year.
Many online casino fans and operators were hoping this bill would be the final push to enable New York residents to play in online casinos. Moreover, now that it has been excluded from the one-house budget, it’s unlikely that things will change any time soon – but “soon” doesn’t mean “never”.
How Much Money Could Be Raised from New York Online Casino Taxes?
The bill proposal included directing iGaming taxes acquired from the online casino industry toward the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund, which has struggled to stay afloat since the pandemic. It’s also thought that license fees and taxes from other casinos downstate would be pumped into other initiatives that need funding.
Unfortunately, because the bill was not accepted, New York State continues to lose out on the revenue it could gain from legal online casinos – and that amount is eye-watering. Addabbo estimated that unregulated iGaming costs New York $3 billion annually.
For now, sports betting is legal in New York, but online casinos are yet to be given a seat at the table. Still, most people believe it’s only a matter of time until the state legalizes iGaming and online casinos receive official licensing. Until that time, NY casino operators, players, and officials who see the potential for revenue and funding in the Empire State wait another year.