NY Could Make $400 Million If Wrist Legalize Internet Casino Gaming

New York state is losing an estimated $400 million in annual tax revenue by refusing to legalize gambling for internet casino games such as roulette and blackjack.

According to a new report released Tuesday by VIXIO GamblingCompliance, the Empire State could rake in $428 million a year if state legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul pass a bill allowing “iGaming” casino-style games.

Similar to mobile sports betting, iGaming allows individuals to play gambling and table games on their phones.

But the analysis argues that once legal tax profits from internet gaming could surpass the state’s already booming mobile sports betting industry, which grossed more than $300 million in July within the first six months of operation.

The report was commissioned by Light and Wonder, a Las Vegas-based digital gaming company where Howard Glaser – a former employee of ex-Governor. Andrew Cuomo – serves as head of government affairs and legislative advisor.

A bill introduced in February by Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Queens) and Councilman Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon) would legalize the practice.

If Governor Kathy Hochul and the state legislature approved “iGaming” casino-style games, New York could benefit from $428 million a year.

“We’re missing the ball here. By not doing iGaming right now. It would stop the flow of money to other states and to the illegal market,” Addabbo said during a telephone interview

“And we’re looking for more revenue for education and the opportunity to help people with addictions.”

He said he has not yet discussed the matter with Hochul.

Person playing online poker looking for winning cards.
Similar to mobile sports betting, iGaming allows individuals to play gambling and table games on their phones.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Right now, only five states — Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia — have legalized “iGaming.”

Nevada also allows a limited option, by allowing online poker.

In 2021, those six states’ combined tax revenues totaled an industry worth $970 million.

Steve Cohen addresses fans before the game as the New York Mets held a ceremony unveiling a statue of former Met Tom Seaver.
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen hopes to build a casino in a tourist spot in New York City.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The pressure comes as New York is about to open the bidding process for three high-value commercial casino licenses in the state.

Already, top developers and gaming companies — such as Mets owner Steve Cohen — are vying for the right to build a casino in hot spots like Times Square and Hudson Yards.

They need a green light from a local yard sign before breaking ground.

New York is expected to earn a minimum of $1.5 billion in total for all three casino licenses – in addition to tax revenues for slot machines and table games.

Addabbo said legalized iGaming makes commercial casino licenses even more valuable because would-be online slot players would have to try their luck within the confines of the physical gambling parlor.

“It’s more of an incentive. It makes it more valuable to have these licenses,” he told The Post.

The analysis looked at revenue generated in the states with legalized iGaming over a 12-month period, per adult over the age of 18, according to 2020 US Census Bureau data.

As much as 20 percent of gross tax revenue was applied — the median tax of any state with legal Internet table games.

According to the report, New York would see that $428 revenue forecast once the program “matures” in a two- to three-year period.

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