New York Could Pass Legalized Online Casinos in 2024

Yonkers Times
Wild Casino

After years of contentious debate and false starts, it appears that the Empire State might finally be on the verge of passing a comprehensive online casino bill. However, even if New York’s legislature comes up with a comprehensive iGaming bill, Governor Kathy Hochul must still sign it.

Even though New York’s legislature has been on recess since June 5th due to Governor Hochul suspending New York’s controversial congestion tax bill, the estimated $1 billion economic fallout from that decision might prompt the state’s legislature to an emergency session. One such way to make up much-needed revenue for the Metropolitan Transit Authority Agency is by finally legalizing online casinos.

According to state senator Joseph Addabbo, legalizing online casinos in the Empire State might make up the $1 billion deficit. Addabbo has long been an advocate for legalizing NY online casinos. At the top of the year, he re-submitted a new bill, SB815, that would allow for up to 20 online casino operators to launch on apps in the state. Under Addabbo’s re-submitted bill, an online casino license could cost millions per operator.

The move also makes sense because the Empire State has already sanctioned sports betting on apps. Many of the heavyweight names like BetMGM already have a foot in the state. So, if Addabbo’s SB815 bill is passed during the special session and Governor Hochul ultimately signs it, the immediate license revenue might be enough to make up the MTA deficit.

For the emergency session to happen, according to Addabbo, the state legislature would have to agree to a date to organize the members and a clear-cut purpose and agenda. One potential stumbling block that Governor Hotchul would have to overcome to legalize NY online casinos is getting the New York Hotel Trades Council on board. Unions would have to get on board because of the looming threat that online casinos have to retail casinos.

Recently, New York’s legislature also pushed up the deadline for prospective new casino companies to apply and submit plans for a license. For 2024, New York has three licenses up for grabs. Even if iGaming passes in New York, there needs to be enough retail casinos to serve as sponsorships. Other states where online casinos are thriving, like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, have license requirements for an online operator to partner with a land-based casino. The Empire State has twelve brick-and-mortar casinos and racinos.