Tue, Nov 22, 2022 8:16 AM
By Steve Bittenbender, The Center Square
New York has quickly emerged as the nation’s leading online sports betting market, with gaming industry analysts projecting the state’s online casino market could be even larger.
A report released by PlayUSA last week, indicated regulated New York casino apps could generate revenues approaching $3 billion annually. It would make the Empire State the king of the hill in that gaming segment.
Online casino apps allow users to bet real money on slot machines and table games, such as blackjack and roulette. The technology even offers live-dealer table games emanating from production studios.
Sports betting is legal in 36 states, including the District of Columbia. Online sports wagering is currently, or soon-to-be legal in 25 states, in addition to the District of Columbia. Regulated online casino gaming has been in the U.S. for nearly a decade, only Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia allow it.
Sen. Joe Addabbo, D-Queens, has worked to legalize online casino gaming in the state, and serves as the chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee. He and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, D-North Vernon, who heads the Assembly’s Racing and Wagering Committee, filed bills earlier this year to bring online casinos to the state.
However, there may not be as much interest for online casinos after state lawmakers approved mobile sports betting in 2021, and authorized up to three new brick-and-mortar casinos earlier this year. PlayUSA estimated New York’s chances of passing online casino legislation is at 33% for next year.
“New York is arguably closer to the finish line than any other state, having worked at online gambling for the better part of a decade,” PlayUSA Lead Data Analyst Eric Ramsey said in a statement to The Center Square. “The fact that legalization hasn’t materialized on the casino side does create a sense of perpetual pessimism for us onlookers, but the conversation seems to be growing louder as time goes on.”
One factor that may help garner votes, are the revenue generating aspects of online casinos, especially as the state eyes multi-billion dollar deficits in the coming years, due to projections of a weakening economy.
If PlayUSA’s revenue forecast is correct, depending on tax rates, revenue generated from online casinos, including fees from licenses, could potentially offset a significant portion of the projected deficits.
Mobile sports betting revenues are already exceeding projections. The state’s 51% tax on gross gaming revenue has generated $381.6 million in taxes through October. Only seven months into the fiscal year, the state has already received more than the $357 million budget officials originally projected from online sports betting for the 2022-23 fiscal year.