NY Governor's Budget Proposal Excludes Gambling Bill
After a bill proposal to legalize online casinos was filed in the New York Senate with an aim to boost the US-largest online market, Gov. Kathy Hochul reportedly released the 2024 Executive Budget to exclude online casinos in the Empire State. As reported by Play NY, Gov. Hochul released the $233 billion Executive Budget on 15 January 2024 to dispel hopes of online gambling proponents until further notice.
$233 Billion Budget:
Hochul said:“This budget makes it clear that fiscal discipline can co-exist with progressive, people-driven policies. I am committed to fight the right fights on behalf of New Yorkers, and to pursue the common good with common sense – by seeking common ground.” The same goal will reportedly be pursued by the lawmakers supporting the bill recently proposed by Sen. Joe Addabbo. His bill S8185 proposing to add online casino gaming and lottery to the state’s online gambling portfolio will be waiting for the final budget agreement reportedly falling due for Hochul and the State Legislature until March 31, 2024 at the latest.
As reported, the Executive Budget proposed by the Governor at $233 billion would exceed the last year’s $229 billion funding plan to become the largest in the state’s history. If approved, the budget would reportedly focus on crime reduction, mental health improvement, and safety programs for children, as well as the overall living standard improvement. When introducing the budget, Hochul reportedly wrote: “Through the policies I have laid out in my State of the State and this Budget, my administration will accomplish a solid, balanced budget without cuts or placing an added burden on taxpayers, all while delivering the programs and services New Yorkers care about most.”
As Play NY reports, Budget Director Blake Washington added that the budget focuses on the “big three”consisting of “school aid, Medicaid and migrants.” He reportedly said:“We’ve got to get back to a level where our spending meets our revenues and that certainly was not the case. We have to just reflect those new realities and we have to actually be responsible to the long term without raising taxes, without raiding reserves, without gimmicks – we have to actually just do this budget and get back to a more sort of acceptable way of budgeting, where we provide for the needs that are out there.”
Gambling Bill Awaiting Final Budget Agreement:
The budget reportedly comes less than a week after Sen. Addabbo filed bill S8185 proposing to legalize New York online casinos and lottery and expand the state’s online offerings beyond sports betting, which is the largest online market in America. Sen. Addabbo will have until March 31 to try to push the proposal, but some industry representatives estimate that the chances to have the legislation passed stand at less than 50% as the licensing process for four downstate casinos has not been completed yet.
Howard Glaser, the global head of government affairs for Light & Wonder, reportedly commented :“They are distracted by the clunky NYC casino expansion process. State is not known for its bandwidth to handle multiple issues.” As reported by Play NY, Hochul’s budget did include some horse racing provisions to extend parimutuel tax rates and simulcast provisions for one year. Also, the budget proposes that the Capital Off-Track Betting Corporation use up to $1 million of its capital acquisition fund for another year, according to the source.