Senator Joseph Addabbo, yes, the same politician who pushed forward the sports betting legislation, is back at it, as he’s rolled out an Empire City online gambling bill that would regulate web-based casino games, including slot machines. The bill also contains provisions for live dealer and table games.
However, just like the sports betting legislation, there’s a catch. This new bill is proposing a 30% tax rate for operators, which is twice as much as the usual 15% tax in other states that have already regulated online casino games.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, this bill has zero-to-slim chances of passing this year. 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 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.