New York Considers Online Casino Legislation
New York Senator Joseph Addabbo made waves in the online casino world in late February by sponsoring a bill to legalize interactive casino gambling.
The legislation, Senate Bill S8412, has since been referred to the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee for secondary approval. The news comes on the heels of a similar bill, sponsored by Addabbo, that passed in 2021 to legalize online sports betting in New York State.
As a result, the Empire State became the biggest market in the United State for legalized sports betting.
Now, with the online gaming bill moving up the ladder, New York might soon take over the online casino world.
NY Online Slots, Blackjack, Roulette?
The partisan bill seeks to legalize online slot machines and table games for the State of New York. The bill also calls for remote wagering, allowing players to enjoy as long as they are physically in the state at the time.
All current land-based casino operators in the state will get a chance to apply for a license to operate online. All of the state’s tribal casinos are included in this bill, along with commercial properties. Tribal casinos can offer iGaming in New York so long as they comply with the same condition as other casino operators.
Each licensee can choose to offer online versions of their current platforms or team up with a third party to handle the iGaming portion of the business. Additionally, each licensee will be given two skins for these two options.
A license will cost $2 million unless the casino decides to use its in-house platform. If that is the case, an additional $10 million in fees would have to be paid. Those fees are designed to cover the cost of the license for 10 years. Several entities in the state that already have casino licenses also have their own established online gambling platforms ready to go.
They could move quickly to open up an operation in the Empire State if the bill passes. An example is Rush Street Interactive which operates the Rivers Casino in Schenectady.
The tax rate for the interactive games was also laid out and set at 25% of the gross gaming revenue from each platform. The taxes will be funneled into the state’s lottery fund to pay for gambling program support. The share that New York plans to take is much lower than the national high of 51% that the state gets from its online sportsbook partners.
This bill has a huge potential to bring in money for New York due to its huge population compared to other states that have moved to legalization. If their success in sports betting is any indication, New York might take over the lead in online gambling nationwide.
NY Online Poker Might Have To Wait
One thing that is lacking from Addabbo’s bill is any mention of online poker. New York’s neighbors, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have legal access to online poker, yet Addabbo chose to leave it out of this bill. It is likely because the fewer additions to the bill, the better chances it has to be signed into law.
If that happens, New York would have two bills signed into law that would only help a future poker bill’s chances of getting through.
New York in the past has considered separate legislation for peer-to-peer online poker.
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