Addabbo Still Hopeful About New York iGaming Bill’s Chances

Addabbo Still Hopeful About New York iGaming Bill’s Chances
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Last week was not the best for the chances of New York online casinos becoming legal. Still, iGaming’s biggest supporter in the state’s legislature, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, said he’s not ready to fold.

Gov. Kathy Hochul did not include support for Addabbo’s bill in her executive budget address last Tuesday. Then, the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, which initially opposed allowing casino gaming online, reiterated its position after Addabbo amended his bill to include a $25 million annual fund for workers.

Nevertheless, the Queens Democrat, in an interview with, remained committed to fighting for his bill in hopes of making New York the eighth iGaming state in the nation.

“There’s not a concern out there that relates to iGaming that I don’t believe we can overcome,” he said.

‘Those Jobs Are My Constituents’

The Trades Council, which represents thousands of gaming workers in New York, has said allowing people to play online slots and table games will take away business from brick-and-mortar casinos where their members work. Lost revenues eventually would lead to fewer jobs at locations like Resorts World New York City, a video gaming casino located in Queens.

Addabbo and other proponents from the gaming industry point to studies that counter that argument. Others in the industry have said iGaming would serve as a key marketing tool to attract people to resorts and take advantage of their amenities.

The senator also noted his bill requires live-dealer table games to take place at studios located in New York, which would lead to more union jobs for dealers and other workers at the studio.

“We never envisioned iGaming to cannibalize jobs,” Addabbo said. “Those jobs are my constituents. My constituents work at Resorts World. Why would I ever want to even propose something that I think could jeopardize a job for a constituent, a very good job over the past 11 years?”

Pass Now for Next Year

Addabbo maintains that iGaming will provide a reliable stream of revenue to the state at a time when it eyes significant shortfalls for upcoming fiscal years. Hochul’s budget briefing book released last week noted steps her office proposes would cut those deficits to $5 billion for fiscal year 2026, $5.2 billion in 2027 and nearly $10 billion in 2028.

“If the FY 2026 Budget is balanced with recurring savings, the budget gap for FY 2027 would be nearly eliminated, and the FY 2028 gap would be reduced to roughly $5 billion,” the book states.

Those projections show, according to Addabbo, there will be a need at some point for iGaming, especially if projections aren’t met. He added New York can’t rely on one-time funds, like the billions it and other states received from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic, to make ends meet.

“There may be a necessity now, or if not now, certainly next year, and let’s face it, you pass iGaming this year so you can realize the revenue next year,” he said.

Hochul’s office and lawmakers will hash out the budget over the next couple of months. The next steps in the process include both the Assembly and the Senate revealing their budget plans later in the session. Those plans will showcase their priorities, which they will work to include in the final budget set to take effect on April 1.

Last year, the chambers approved their budget versions on March 16. will be following the budget process as it relates to iGaming, as well as providing info on NY casino bonuses.



Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.