NY Governor Considering Special Legislative Session for Online Casino Legalization

NY Governor Considering Special Legislative Session for Online Casino Legalization
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New York Governor Kathy Hochul is reportedly considering calling a special legislative session to discuss legalizing real money online casinos in New York.

This legislation would add online casino gambling to the already legalized New York sports betting scene, which has proven to be one of the most lucrative in the country. The state opened its door to New York sports betting apps in 2019 but has been slow to roll out a similar pathway for mobile casino apps.

Although the regular legislative session for New York has closed, there is still a serious need to provide funding for the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA). The governor could call a special session as soon as July following the June 25 primary elections.

The rush for funding comes after Gov. Hochul paused a plan to impose tolls on drivers in busy parts of Manhattan when signing the 2025 budget.

“I understand the level of concern at this time," she told reporters on June 10. "But I, as the governor of the state of New York, I'm committed to continuing those projects with alternative funding."

Senator Joseph Addabbo has introduced legislation to legalize online casinos annually since 2022, including SB S8185 in January 2024. He's been vocal about how iGaming legislation could benefit the MTA, much like how the neighboring NJ online casino market helps benefit the Garden State.

“This is new revenues," Addabbo said in 2023. "So you want to use it for healthcare, you want to use it for social services, you want to use part of it for the MTA? Here it is."

Lawmakers have used other gambling avenues to provide the MTA with needed funding, including recently passing a bill to speed up the selection process of three downstate casinos. The revenues from these casinos would be directed toward the MTA.

Ziv has over two decades of experience in the igaming and sports betting industry, having served in senior marketing and business development positions with both B2C and B2B companies, including Playtech and Microgaming. In 2019, Ziv decided to pursue his passion for writing and became a fulltime industry journalist, covering casino, sports, and gambling business news. He’s specialties include casino games and technology, US state gambling regulation, company performance, as well as gambling affiliates and marketing. As a Pitt graduate, Ziv is a diehard fan of all Pittsburgh sports teams, with the Steelers at the top of the list. In his free time, he enjoys reading crime fiction, biographies (mainly of sports personalities, but not only) and American history. Ziv’s Favorite quote: “We're going to pursue perfection, knowing full well we won't catch it, but we're going to relentlessly chase it," Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach.