Since the January 2022 launch of the legal internet sports betting, the state of New York has grown into the largest online gambling market in the United States. The regulations prescribing the online casino servers to be located at land-based gambling facilities has additionally driven the proliferation of brick-and-mortar casino properties in the state with major operators still competing for the remaining gambling licenses.
In these circumstances, Sen. Joseph Addabbo reportedly files the bill S8185 to support further growth of online casinos while seeking to add the online lottery to the record-breaking gambling portfolio of the Empire State.
As SBC Americas reports, the bill S8185 filed for the upcoming legislative session largely mirrors the 2023 version but additionally determines eligible applicants for some of the at-large licenses. This particularly refers to the four downstate casinos and three forthcoming upstate casinos as the competition for licenses to develop casinos in downtown New York is still pending regulatory decisions.
Allowing Three Additional Licenses:
The bill S8185 also determines VLT parlors like MGM Empire City Casino and Resorts World NYC eligible to run casino operations in the state, as well as the New York Native American tribes and the existing online sports betting operators. As reported, the bill will also allow for three additional licenses following competitive bid to further boost the market handle.
Focusing on DEI Principles Instead of Minority Ownership:
According to SBC Americas, such licensees will no longer have to hold a min 5% minority title but rather involve the principles of diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI). The bill requires that eligible applicants will reportedly have to “abide by an affirmative action program of equal opportunity, approved by the commission, whereby the applicant establishes specific goals for the utilization of minorities, women and veterans in full-time, permanent jobs at such interactive gaming license’s place of operation.”
License Fees to Support Responsible Gaming Programs :
The measure also anticipates operators to pay an upfront $2 million fee for a license, with out-of-state platform operators requested to pay a $10 million fee. As reported by the source, all operators will have to pay a 30.5 percent tax on gambling operations to remain eligible. The gaming tax revenues collected by the state will reportedly be distributed across employee training and responsible gaming programs.
The bill anticipates the allocation of 0.025% of annual tax revenue for these purposes under a mandatory $25 million threshold requirement. A SBC Americas reports, other responsible gaming measures are still included in the latest version of the bill, such as a requirement to notify gamblers that are likely to exceed the $2,500 gambling safety limit set to ensure responsible gaming behavior in the tempting New York market.