New York iGaming Political Ad Launched, Campaign Backed by Sportsbooks

Posted on: January 10, 2024, 08:09h. 

Last updated on: January 10, 2024, 10:09h.

A political campaign advertisement promoting the economic benefits that legal iGaming would bring New York has been deployed in the Empire State.

New York iGaming online casino
A political campaign seeking to muster support for legal iGaming has launched in New York. The state is facing a ballooning budget deficit, something online gaming advocates say could help be alleviated with more gaming. (Image: Bet on NY)

A 30-second advertisement airing on television and digital channels says it’s time New York lawmakers bet on regulated online casino gaming. The spot is bankrolled by the Sports Betting Alliance (SBA), a trade group consisting of DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Fanatics.

New York faces dangerous deficits and there’s an affordability crisis across the state,” the iGaming ad begins via voiceover narration. “Life’s already hard enough for people without raising taxes or cutting services, but there’s a better way to begin addressing this problem. Neighboring states authorized iGaming, creating billions in taxable revenue,” the spot continues.

“By letting people play casino games online, we can decrease deficits and help our families and schools. Let’s bring iGaming to New York.”

The political ad cites states with legal iGaming that generated $6 billion in taxable revenue in 2022. Today, six states allow people of legal gambling age physically located within their jurisdictions to gamble online. They are New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Delaware.

$1B Annual Windfall

The SBA’s political iGaming campaign launch coincides with New York Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens) last week reintroducing legislation to establish a legal framework for online casinos to operate in the state.

Senate Bill 856 seeks to allow the state’s brick-and-mortar commercial and Tribal casinos, plus retail sportsbooks and racinos, to partner with iGaming platforms. Three companies with minority ownership interests would also be allowed to seek online casino licenses.

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli expects the state’s budget shortfall to grow to $8 billion by next year. Though online casinos wouldn’t bridge such a major funding gap, the SBA says iGaming could reduce the deficit by up to $1 billion annually.

“A mobile gaming package will net an additional $1 billion annually for the state, create union jobs, and ensure New York consumers have access to consumer protections, which are only available in the legal and regulated markets,” the SBA website claims.

Sports betting — specifically online sports betting — has been a riveting success in New York. From April 2023 through December, New York online sportsbooks won nearly $1.3 billion from remote bettors. That’s resulted in over $647.3 million in tax revenue dedicated to state education.

Gaming Opposition

Addabbo and his colleague, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon), have been trying to pass iGaming legislation for years. They’re hopeful 2024 is the year an online casino bill finally gets across the finish line. But this session presents additional concerns.

New York’s Gaming Facility Location Board is expected to issue the state’s three downstate casino licenses this year. Numerous bids are being prepped in New York City, which has caused considerable local opposition in the targeted communities.

Rallying support for even more gaming by way of iGaming might be a tall task for Addabbo and Pretlow. It’s also unclear if Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) would sign such a statute. The governor hasn’t included possible iGaming income in her recent budget.