The man responsible for sports betting in his state is back at work. Senator Joseph Addabbo has rolled out a New York online gambling bill that would regulate web based casino games, including slot machines. The bill also has provisions for live dealer and table games, as well as for online poker.
In true New York fashion, however, Addabbo’s bill proposes a tax rate of over 30% to be imposed on operators. That’s about twice as much as the usual 15% in other states that have regulated internet casino games.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, this bill has slim to zero chance of passing this year. That should not come as a surprise to anyone who follows this industry. Traditionally, any legislation involving web based casinos faces difficult challenges. So why should this bill be any different?
There have been estimates that New York online gambling would be able to generate about $4 billion a year, once it’s been up and running for a while. And at a tax rate of over 30%, that would mean well over a billion dollars a year for the state. And now we’re at the heart of the issue.
Obviously, one big factor in driving such aggressive gambling expansion in the state is the money. Almost as if it were low hanging fruit. After all, sports betting expansion brought the state over $900 million last year in tax revenue and license fees. So if a little gambling is good… a lot must be better.
One interesting aspect of Addabbo’s bill is that it does place a $2,500 a year deposit limit for credit cards, as well as incorporating other problem gambling solutions. However, when the Governor recently rolled out her new budget proposal for next year, there was no mention of New York online gambling anywhere.