New York iLottery Unlikely In 2024, But Sen. Addabbo Continues Push For 2025

New York iLottery may not be happening in 2024, but Senator Joseph Addabbo isn’t going to stop advocating for it.

With both Governor Kathy Hochul and the state Senate not including the measure in their yearly budget, there’s no real avenue for legislation to get passed this year.

However, Addabbo is passionate that New York needs to be included in states with online lotteries. He’s been pushing for both iLottery and online gaming legislation in the state. His belief is that it will help erase a growing budget deficit.

Though it’s not in the cards this year, he remains steadfast that it will happen soon for New York.

Addabbo believes iLottery will happen eventually in New York

Addabbo recently spoke with Bonus.com, a fellow Catena Media publication. He believes that even though his efforts to bring iLottery and iGaming to the state in 2024 appear to be coming up short, he knows adding both in New York is inevitable:

“You cannot stop technology.”

Addabbo introduced SB8185, the iGaming and iLottery bill, on Jan. 11. He changed and refiled the bill on Feb. 1 after input from multiple outlets, with nearly the entire bill changed.

Ultimately, SB8185 would see the legalization of interactive games.

In the bill, authorized interactive games include “any video lottery terminal games currently authorized by the commission.”

The legislation would also see the state legalize online casinos and online poker.

Pushback over online casino legislation

As we’ve seen in other states, the legalization of a form of lottery is being held back by disagreements on casino legislation.

The Hotel and Gaming Trades Council (HTC) is fighting hard against this bill being passed in New York. It fears that allowing iGaming would take away from jobs at retail casinos.

Addabbo has included a $25 million fund for casino workers in the legislation, but that hasn’t shifted their displeasure with the bill.

The senator told PlayUSA, a fellow Catena Media publication, that the HTC has refused to negotiate with him on what it would take to get its support:

“If someone says nice try but $25 million doesn’t cut it, what does cut it? Is it $30 million? $40 million? It’s not enough to just say no. Give me an alternative. Give me a suggestion. What don’t you like about it? Tell me what you would want and let me see if it’s possible.”

Addabbo would like to see Gov. Hochul help mend these fences in order to further the legislation:

“That’s the governor’s job to get Hotel Trades to the table. The governor has to drive the bus, bring everyone in and say how do we go down this path.”

Expansion unlikely this year, focus toward 2025 budget

Addabbo will shift his efforts toward getting iGaming and iLottery on the 2025 New York state budget.

When the state Senate reconvenes on May 6, it plans to focus on next year’s expected deficit.

This year, New York saw a $4 billion budget deficit. That is expected to more than double next year.

Addabbo projects that adding in iGaming could bring in as much as $4 billion annually in tax revenue for the state.

If lawmakers ever pass a bill, it still needs to be signed by the governor to become law.

Should the bill become law in 2025, the state gaming commission would likely need until the following year for things to be up and running.

Addabbo told Bonus he hopes to convince Hochul to include gaming expansion in next year’s state budget.

New York offers online lottery through couriers

Though online lottery sales are technically not legal in the state, New York does authorize courier services.

Companies like Jackpocket, Lotto.com, and Jackpot.com all run in New York. They take online orders for New York retail lottery tickets.

Currently, the state gaming commission is being sued by the Cayuga Nation for allowing Jackpocket to operate on its tribal lands.

It’s one of a few black eyes for the New York Lottery right now. Recently, the state reported a 2% decline in its traditional lottery sales for the fiscal year.

It had $8.14 billion in sales for FY 2023-24, compared to $8.28 billion in FY 2022-23.

 

Photo by PlayiLottery

About the Author

Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis

Lead Writer
A member of Catena Media since 2020, Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer at PlayiLottery, where he handles coverage of the online and retail lottery industry in the US. He previously spearheaded news content at PlayMichigan, where he covered one of the most prominent online lottery industries in the US — among the many other aspects of Michigan's sprawling iGaming market. You can email him at [email protected].
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