New York state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. continues to roll out gambling bills as a way of fine-tuning the state’s approach to gambling activities — as well as the tax revenue it gains from them.
Addabbo last week introduced Bill S2343 to allow fixed-odds horse racing in the state at a variety of locations, including off-track betting parlors, pro sports stadiums and arenas, car racing tracks, other licensed racetracks, and the video lottery terminals at Aqueduct in Queens.
Addabbo also introduced bills in January to increase the number of online sportsbook operators while lowering the tax obligations of those sportsbooks, and to allow sports betting via kiosks. He also told US Bets he soon will introduce a bill to allow iCasino in the state.
Addabbo has made it clear this flurry of bills isn’t necessarily designed to push each of them to passage, but rather to open up discussions about all the possible regulated gambling activities in the state. He and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow are hosting a joint public hearing on Tuesday in Albany to continue those conversations in an open forum.
“What we normally do is just reintroduce many of the bills that didn’t move last year,” Addabbo said. “It’s an opportunity to have a conversation, to hopefully get it discussed in the budget process.”
Fixed odds are popular with horse racing newcomers
Fixed-odds horse betting, available in Colorado and New Jersey, is commonplace in Europe and Australia and has proven popular with some bettors, particularly newcomers to the sport who are turned off by the constantly changing odds in parimutuel wagering.
Addabbo’s bill would not automatically allow the state’s nine licensed mobile sportsbooks to offer fixed-odds racing via their apps, but could open that door eventually as well. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) already allows bettors to place wagers through its mobile betting service, but uses the parimutuel system. NYRA issued a statement last week in support of Addabbo’s bill.
“This legislation would enable mobile sports wagering providers to offer that opportunity, should they so choose, but only if they enter into an agreement with the horse racing content provider,” the bill states. “Additionally, this legislation would create additional opportunities for affiliated organizations to offer opportunities to participate in this gaming activity. These changes are expected to result in billions of dollars of tax revenue for the State of New York.”
The bill sits in the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, of which Addabbo is chairman. Addabbo introduced a similar bill in 2022, but it never made it out of committee.