The big chatter this week at the annual SBC | Summit North America at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J., was the state of the downstate casinos and online casinos in New York.
What's the update? Who is involved? And when is it going to happen . . . if ever?
After all, mobile New York sports betting has been a massive success since its launch in January 2022. In fact, just this week, the Empire State went over the $1 billion mark in state taxes back to Albany.
Dueling Timetables Emerge
During Wednesday’s iGaming in New York: What's Going on in the Latest Opening State? four-member panel, state Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D-15th District) was front and center and predicted iGaming in the state would be approved in 2024 with implementation in 2025. Fellow panelist Katie Peters, public policy senior VP at FanDuel, agreed.
“Not a question of if, but when,” said Addabbo, who serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, and was a big proponent and reason why mobile sports betting in the state has been thriving over the last year and a half. “I’m not a betting man, but I would say next year.”
Two others differed with that timetable.
Both George Rover, managing partner, Princeton Global Strategies, and Lee Terfloth, chief operating officer, Out The Gate, Inc., said it would take a bit longer. They predicted within two to three years, mentioning there has been so much emphasis currently on bringing three downstate, brick-and-mortar casinos to the five boroughs of New York this year.
All were unanimous, however, that mobile NY casino apps will be coming.
Downstate Casinos on Docket First
On the heels of the success of sports betting in the state, Addabbo already has presented an iGaming bill to the state legislature. However, it didn't make any progress and was not included in Gov. Kathy Hochul's state budget.
“This will be a hotly debated issue in next year’s budget. New York is sitting on a billion dollars in iGaming revenue, money that can be used for transportation or healthcare — two major parts of the state budget — because it’s unspoken for funding,” Addabbo said during the lively panel discussion that lasted close to an hour.
The three downstate casinos not only would bring jobs but much-needed tax revenue to the state, Addabbo said.
There already have been numerous announcements of a host of developers and casino operators that plan on submitting Request for Applications (RFA) once given the go-ahead, more than likely in July.
One was even announced Thursday. Roc Nation and its partners aim to bring Caesars Palace Times Square to Manhattan, with a whole host of benefits to the surrounding neighborhoods, businesses and especially the theater district. You can learn more about Caesars NY on this website.
Aqueduct Racetrack and Yonkers Raceway are the early favorites to land a license, due to the infrastructure already in place and both having live gaming operations there with slot machines.
One thing is for certain: The discussion of iGaming did not end with this intriguing panel, and it will continue to progress over the next several weeks and months.
NYCasinos.com, home of New York casino bonuses, will keep you up to date the whole way.