During its new legislative session, the New York Senate announced its intention to keep supporting the expansion of the gambling market within the state. In April, legislators approved the final budget for 2022 and made sure to insert a decision that would help brick-and-mortar casinos grow at a faster rate via accelerated downstate licenses. Nonetheless, the much-anticipated decision regarding the increase in the number of online operators offering sports betting was not included in the same budget. The state's lawmakers are currently busy trying to make it happen sooner than later.
Senator Joe Addabbo is one of the strongest supporters of the sports betting and iGaming cause in the Empire State. For the time being, Addabbo is hoping to see the state introduce fixed-odds betting options on horse races before June 2, the official closing date of the current legislative session. He is also interested in making casinos his number one priority during the upcoming fiscal year. The heated talks on the topic are expected to begin at the end of 2022, to see the changes be a part of the upcoming Executive Budget for January 2023. The Senator is this way helping lay the foundation for the new vertical, together with fellow lawmakers.
Addabbo would also like to see self-service kiosks implemented at New York's arenas, stadiums, and racetracks. He believes the bill should become part of the current legislative session and not be postponed for 2023. Lawmakers will need to decide if they should add or remove the respective proposal.
The Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee has already passed Bill S8471 which will allow a larger number of online sports betting operators in the state, along with Bill S8412 which will legalize iGaming. In light of the new bills being given the green light, state racinos (mixed race tracks and casinos) started expressing concern regarding the potential drop in revenue and market share. The drops would occur provided online casino gaming would be solely limited to operators with a full license. Senator Addabbo reassured racino representatives that this will not happen, adding the topic would be further discussed in the future.
The state's current budget will include the acceleration of three full commercial licenses for downstate casinos. Operators eager to grab one of them will need to apply for a license with the New York State Gaming Commission. They will also need to be prepared to pay around $500 million as licensing fees and wait for official approval from the state regulator.
The majority of legislators are eager to see the three available and much-anticipated licenses reach three casinos in New York City, with Resorts World NYC and Empire City Casino located in Yonkers on top of their list of preferences. Nonetheless, some voices oppose the idea. One of them belongs to Manhattan's assemblyman Richard Gottfried who stated he does not wish to see a gaming venue be a part of the borough, thinking about the potentially negative influence that the casino might have on the region.
Both in-person and online sports betting are legal in New York, with online sports betting officially launching on January 8, 2022. Four sports betting apps became instantly available to the public at the launch of the market, while nine sports betting apps were selected by the New York State Gaming Commission last November.
DraftKings, Caesars, Fanduel, PointsBet, BetRivers, BetMGM, and WynnBET are a few of the sportsbook apps currently available to bettors in the state, with more getting ready to launch in the upcoming months. Bettors can expect to come across highly competitive odds and attractive risk-free welcome bonus offers for newly registered bettors from New York. Parlay Plus options that can increase parlay profits by a large percentage and built-in live streaming options are also part of some operators' offerings. Others display a series of lucrative rewards programs bringing in weekly, monthly, or yearly perks when going online to play online wager. Bettors must be over 21 and be located within the state lines to be allowed to place their sports wagers and bet with any of the available licensed sportsbooks. The platforms can be accessed either by downloading dedicated sports betting apps or using the desktop website versions to register.
New York currently has a huge 51% tax on gaming revenue. The tax would become considerably lower should a larger number of operators be allowed on the market. This would help operators keep more of their earned revenue while offering more advantageous deals to bettors. The proposal that would increase the number of NY sports betting operators from 9 to 16 has not received the approval of legislators for the time being.