On January 8, 2024, New York celebrated the second anniversary of legal online sports betting, which has proven to be a huge success. The state has seen billions of wagers and substantial proceeds for both the state and licensed operators. However, the future of online gambling in New York remains uncertain, as it was not included in the recently announced FY 2025 Budget by Governor Kathy Hochul.
Despite the potential benefits of tax revenue from legalizing online gambling, the activity was conspicuously absent from the $233 billion budget. Governor Hochul emphasized the importance of fiscal discipline and did not mention online gambling in her budget announcement. This has raised doubts about the possibility of legalization in the near future.
The lack of mention of online gambling in the budget does not completely rule out its potential consideration by lawmakers. However, the absence of iGaming in the budget suggests that it may not be a priority for the state this year.
Just days before the budget announcement, Senator Joseph Addabbo introduced Senate Bill 8185, which seeks to legalize online lottery and iGaming activities in New York. This bill follows a previous proposal by the Senator and includes the addition of online lotteries. The proposed bill also includes a 30.5% tax on gross gaming revenue for online gambling operators, similar to the high tax rate for online sports wagering in the state.
In order to participate in online gambling activities under the proposed bill, individuals must be at least 21 years old. Additionally, the bill outlines the fees for securing a license, with independent contractors facing a $10 million one-time fee and existing operators paying a $2 million one-time fee for a license.
While the future of online gambling in New York remains uncertain, Senator Addabbo’s proposal and the success of online sports betting indicate that this issue will continue to be a topic of debate and consideration in the state.