As a tourist or resident of New York, you must have heard of Resorts World Casino. This is just one of the many tribal and commercial casinos available in New York. Currently, the Empire State houses 12 commercial casinos and racinos. All of which are regulated by the state’s gaming commission. Additionally, there are 15 tribal casinos too.
New York’s casino market is one of the highest in the US, generating a total revenue of $2.71 billion in 2021. Evidently, these figures are impressive, considering how rigid the state is to gambling.
As land-based casinos continue to thrive in New York, most of the rigidity stems from the idea of iGaming. Yet, the significant player base in the state continues to push for its total legalization. On the one hand, there has been a certain level of success as regards online sports betting. However, to date, online casinos for New York residents remain a dream. As such, we look into the status of the iGaming industry in the state. We also consider how close it is to being fully legalized.
The iGaming industry has seen vast popularity globally. Along with its convenience, players can now engage in many games online with the same level of excitement and immersion.
Recently, the state passed a bill legalizing the operations of online sportsbooks. With this, online sports betting became live in New York. Currently, nine licenses have been given to some of the biggest sportsbooks in the country. This includes operators such as BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
Yet, similar to most U.S states, online casinos and poker remain restricted in New York. Two factors have been cited as the key barriers to legalizing these aspects of iGaming.
The topic of problem gambling focuses on repetitive gambling behavior despite adverse consequences. This disruptive habit has been diagnosed as a mental disorder. As a result, there are active efforts to limit its occurrences.
The state of New York currently has a “HOPEline” and a council to foster responsible gambling. Effectively solving this problem would be critical in legalizing casinos and poker online.
Across the United States, a broad coalition of Indian tribes remains unified in opposition to online gambling. In truth, iGaming allows operators to amplify their business through digital trends. Yet, there’s also the possibility of them losing their sovereignty over gambling operations.
Tribal casinos account for about half of the entire revenue generated by casinos in the US. Hence, they remain critical parties in the iGaming legalization discussions. Until the legislature can find a proposition that suits these tribes, the status of iGaming might remain stalled in New York.
New York is the fourth largest U.S state based on population. As such, millions of players are itching to play casino games online. And while online casinos are not legal yet, there are other options for players to engage in these games.
These social casinos are similar to online casinos in terms of what they both offer. However, in most cases, players do not play for real money. Sweepstakes casinos offer all regular casino games, including slots, poker, roulette, and blackjack.
Players can learn how to play these games using free credit offered by these social casinos. But winnings can not be withdrawn as real cash. Nonetheless, some casinos operating on a sweepstakes model also offer cash rewards to winners.
These casinos offer players a risk-free and enjoyable experience. It also effectively checkmates the issue of problem gambling.
To the south of New York lies Pennsylvania, and New Jersey also sits far southeast of the Empire state. Both border states have legalized iGaming activities, including poker and online casinos.
As such, New Yorkers also have the option of playing from these locations. iGaming operators cater to players from different areas. They are also licensed; thus, players are guaranteed fair, safe, and secure gambling.
These are the only two options available to New Yorkers, at least, until online casinos are given the green light.
The iGaming industry offers a lot, not just to players but to the state as a whole. This is something New York knows all too well. Since January 2022, the state has generated over $302 million in tax revenue from mobile sports wagering.
In today’s world, online casinos have a significant monopoly on the iGaming industry. As a result, it’s evident how much could potentially be generated from its legalization. In line with this, New York senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. has declared online casino licensing a priority in the state.
The New York State Gaming Commission will make another attempt to legalize online casinos in 2023. With this, all casino games will be available online for real money. They will also follow suit with sportsbooks in contributing to state taxes. The plan is to alter Senate Bill 8412 to tackle all possible iGaming legalization barriers. With this, the number of licenses will also be increased. All signs point to 2023 legalization, and it’s just a matter of time before New Yorkers can completely gamble online.