NY iGaming Bill Filed by Addabbo as Mobile Sports Betting Stays Strong

Home » NY iGaming Bill Filed by Addabbo as Mobile Sports Betting Stays Strong

Posted on: February 26, 2022, 04:57h. 

Last updated on: February 26, 2022, 01:45h.

Less than two months after mobile sports betting started in New York, one of gaming’s biggest proponents in Albany wants to see even more online wagering in the state.

New York state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (second to left) meets with representatives of a workforce services center in his Queens district. Earlier this week, the chairman of the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee filed a bill that would legalize online casinos in New York. (Image: New York Senate)

On Thursday, Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee Chairman Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, filed S8412. The bill would allow the state’s commercial and tribal casinos to offer iGaming apps on up to two platforms, and those platforms may be independent of the brick-and-mortar brand.

Casinos authorized to offer iGaming would pay a $2 million license fee, while independent operators would pay $10 million. Licenses would be valid for 10 years, with the New York State Gaming Commission determining how they should be renewed.

The bill taxes gross gaming revenues at 25 percent, roughly half the rate that mobile sports betting operators have their AGR taxed. The bill says that promotional credits shall not be considered taxable.

In his bill memo, Addabbo estimated that licensing fees would provide the state with about $150 million in up-front funding. Taxes would generate, according to “conservative market estimates,” about $475 million each year.

iDEA Growth Gives ‘Kudos’ for Bill

With the Hochul Administration – and Pretlow and Addaboo as well – making the expedited awarding of the three remaining brick-and-mortar casino licenses a budget priority for this year, it’s uncertain what chances the iGaming bill may have of passing in the legislature.

However, the leading advocacy group for online gaming thanked the senator for filing his bill and hope his colleagues give it serious consideration.

“We have long argued that states must consider regulating online casinos games along with sports betting,” said John Pappas, state advocacy director for the iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA Growth). “Kudos to Sen. Addabbo for leading this effort to ensure that all online gaming consumers, not just sports bettors, are protected and that New York state reaps even more tax revenues.”

There is no companion bill currently in the state Assembly for Addabbo’s iGaming legislation.

New York Mobile Sports Betting Remains Strong

Addabbo noted the strong start to mobile sports betting in the state as the impetus for filing the iGaming bill. On Friday, the New York State Gaming Commission released the latest weekly figures showing that New Yorkers have bet more than $2.8 billion through the first six-plus weeks of online gaming. Those sportsbooks have reported $179.3 million in revenue.

Based on the 51 percent tax rate for mobile sports betting, that means the state has received $91.5 million since wagering started on Jan. 8. Initial forecasts called for the state to receive $49 million in tax revenue this fiscal year, which ends on March 31. The data shows New York has quickly become the market leader for mobile sports betting in the US.

Similarly, if authorized, New York would quickly become the national leader in online casino gaming, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue annually for the State as it continues to recover from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the senator said in his memo.

For the week ending last Sunday, the Gaming Commission reported a total handle of $353.4 million. That’s the smallest amount wagered for a full week since mobile apps went live, but it’s also the first week without any football games on the upcoming schedule as well. It also roughly works out to a monthly handle of $1.4 billion, a figure that would still top neighboring New Jersey’s best month ever – and that relied heavily on a full slate of college and pro football games.

The handle totals should rise again, temporarily, in the coming weeks as postseason college basketball begins. The NCAA men’s tournament tips off on March 15, with the play-in games, and runs through April 4, when the championship game is held.

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