New York iGaming Excluded from Budget, Likely Off the Board in 2024

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  • An iGaming bill sponsor said it’s likely dead if it isn’t on the budget 
  • iGaming could add at least $1 billion in annual funding
  • New York could pivot to allow futures betting on player awards

New York sports betting is one of the most lucrative gaming markets in America. Despite that, the state appears poised to miss out on legalizing iGaming in 2024. 

The New York Senate did not include iGaming in its budget proposal released on Monday evening. Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. (D-15) raised a proposal to legalize it earlier in the year, though he also said it would not progress if it wasn’t included in the budget.

The Senate will vote on the proposed budget on Thursday.

iGaming left at the altar 

Addaboo Jr. insisted that iGaming can be a solution to New York’s budget deficit. Estimates suggest the state could be $9 billion in the hole, an eye-watering amount that revenue from iGaming could go a long way toward easing the pain of. 

Addaboo Jr., who also introduced an iGaming bill during the 2023 legislative session, said that the online gaming market could supply an extra $1 billion in annual funding if legalized.

His bill, S8185A, was reintroduced to the Senate on Feb. 1. It called for the adoption of online slots, table games and live dealer games. Operators would be taxed at 30.5%, a much larger amount than what iGaming companies in other states are used to. 

However, that’s par for the course in New York. The state’s 51% tax rate on sportsbook revenues is tied with New Hampshire and Rhode Island for the steepest amount in the nation.

Addaboo Jr. pointed to the successful iGaming markets of New Jersey and Pennsylvania as evidence of the positive impact a legal market can have. He also said that the Big Apple is losing out on valuable funding as gamblers travel across the border to gamble in neighboring states.

A similar bill, A9198, was also proposed in the state Assembly. Both would dedicate $11 million annually to dealing with problem gambling and would require operators to display a responsible gambling message when a player’s lifetime deposit total reaches $2,500.

Operators would need to store online servers at retail locations in New York with one online skin per license, which would cost $2 million. Native tribes would also be given paths to the market.

Changes to sports betting regulations 

While iGaming did not make the Senate’s budget proposal, a change that would grant more freedom and accessibility to sports bettors.

The budget included the option for New York sports betting sites to offer bets on league awards, which are currently banned from the catalog of available bets. That includes markets such as:

  • MVP
  • Most Improved Player
  • Super Bowl MVP
  • World Series MVP
  • AL and NL Cy Young
  • Scoring leader
  • Sixth Man of the Year
  • Home Run leader
  • Rookie of the Year 
  • And more…

The budget proposal also calls for the allocation of 1% of New York online sports betting revenue to help treat problem gamblers and fund programs designed to work past those types of behaviors. 

New York reported nearly $744 million in online sports betting revenue in fiscal year 2022-23, which would translate to $7.44 million in funding for preventative programs and treatment centers.

New York sports bettors risked $1.77 billion in February, leading to $131.4 million in sportsbook revenue. That handle was 20.4% higher than the amount reported during February 2022, though it was a 9.7% decline on the $1.96 billion that was wagered in January and the lowest since the September $1.76 billion handle. 

The revenue total was a 21.3% year-to-year increase but also 37.9% less than January’s $211.5 million sum and the lowest since the $98.5 million total from last August.