New York Senator Joe Addabbo, a longtime advocate for regulated gambling, is gearing up for a renewed effort to legalize online casino gaming in the state. Despite a previous unsuccessful attempt, Addabbo is optimistic about the potential success of his new legislation, citing the current favorable climate for the expansion of mobile sports betting in New York.
Addabbo’s previous attempt to legalize online casino gaming in 2023 was stalled when Governor Kathy Hochul did not include the legislation in the 2024 state budget. However, Addabbo sees the anticipated unveiling of the 2025 state budget in February as another opportunity to gain traction for his bill. He is confident that the legalization of online casino gaming would greatly benefit New York, particularly in addressing the state’s financial pressures.
The 2023 legislation proposed a 30.5% tax on gross gaming revenue and outlined various iCasino games that would be covered, including slots, table games, and live dealer games. It also identified 19 potential entities eligible for casino licenses, ranging from destination resorts to existing sports betting platforms.
Addabbo’s new iGaming bill for 2025 is expected to include measures to prevent the online sector from overshadowing traditional casinos, as well as the introduction of iLottery. The bill will also allocate an additional $11 million for gambling harm prevention programs, aligning with the legal framework of neighboring states’ iGaming markets.
Senator Addabbo stressed the importance of legalizing mobile casinos in a state where illegal gambling is prevalent, resulting in an estimated annual loss of about a billion dollars. He highlighted the lack of consumer protections offered by black market operators, which significantly increases the risk of addiction and gambling harm.
Despite the ongoing debate and push for online casino gaming legalization in New York, the success of Addabbo’s efforts is uncertain. However, he believes that it is only a matter of time before online casino gaming is legalized in the state, especially considering the increasing proliferation of iGaming across the USA and the region’s attractiveness to leading operators.