NY Governor Throws Shade at Online Casino & Poker Again NY Governor Throws Shade at Online Casino & Poker Again

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just five days after a bill to legalize online casino and poker was filed in New York, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled an executive budget that doesn’t include either.

The 144-page budget came in at $233 billion, but didn’t include the estimated $475 million in revenue that expanded igaming could bring to the Empire State. Inclusion of that potential revenue would have been a clear sign Hochul supports expanding igaming.

But by omitting the $475 million revenue estimate, Hochul has given a clear sign that NY online poker and casino gaming do not have her support — at least not yet.

The omission is not a surprise, but it was likely noticed by lawmakers in the New York State Legislature, who until now have shown tepid support for expanded igaming — although they did agree to launch mobile sports betting two years ago.

Lawmakers in the Assembly and the Senate will now work on separate one-house budgets for the 2024-2025 fiscal year (FY). The state constitution requires final approval of the annual budget by April 1.

Hochul also excluded expanded igaming from her executive budget for FY 2023-2024.

Online Casino & Poker Bill Could Still Pass

Despite Hochul’s decision not to include potential revenue from online casino and poker in her executive budget, there’s still a chance that a bill introduced last Thursday by Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) could win passage in the legislature.

If that happens, lawmakers will likely enter into negotiations with the governor over the details for a launch of online casino and poker.

S8185 calls for legalizing online casino and poker, and would levy a tax rate of 30.5% on the former. The state would issue 10-year interactive gaming licenses, three of which would be awarded through a competitive bidding process. Each license would cost $2 million and have an initial 10-year term.

Addabbo did not issue a statement on Hochul’s budget, and his office did not return a message seeking comment late Tuesday.

Contrast that with one year ago, when expanded igaming didn’t make the final budget for FY 2023-2024. At the time, Addabbo, who chairs the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering, said in an exclusive interview with pokerfuse that he was done talking about trying to get online casino and poker off the ground in New York.

Hochul didn’t mention any gambling-related topics during a press conference Tuesday. But last Friday, she announced that sports betting had generated a $19 million handle during its second year of operation.

“Over the last two years, New York is the clear leader in providing responsible entertainment for millions while bringing in record-shattering revenue for education, youth sports, and problem gambling prevention,” Hochul said. “I look forward to this third year of our successful gaming policies that deliver top-tier mobile sports wagering experiences.”

Hochul’s budget wasn’t completely devoid of anything gaming related. On the contrary — the budget includes two gaming initiatives.

The first initiative calls for extending parimutuel tax rates and simulcast provisions for one year. Meanwhile, off-track betting (OTB) corporations would get another year to use up to $1 million of their capital acquisition fund for operational expenses.