While a few states have made it legal to gamble online, New York has yet to follow suit. It is somewhat baffling given the soaring tax revenues online casinos have helped to bring in, particularly in neighbouring New Jersey. These are dollars that could be invested in the state’s economy, including infrastructure or healthcare.
There are many reasons why the New York State Government has not yet embraced iGaming. For starters, the state’s gambling industry is dominated by tribal casinos that operate more than 80 brick-and-mortar locations across the country. The tribal operators are implacably opposed to any attempt to legalize online casino games or sports betting, and they have wielded their power with tremendous clout over the state’s political landscape.
However, there is hope for New York residents. Senator Joseph Addabbo has introduced legislation – S4856 – to launch New York’s first online casinos. The bill would also allow for the introduction of iGaming taxes, which would be considerably lower than those applied to sports betting in the state. The bill has not been included in the state’s annual budget, but it is gaining traction among lawmakers and is expected to be debated in 2023.
Despite the fact that California has a fiendishly complicated gambling landscape, efforts to legalize online casino games in the Golden State are slowly but surely gathering momentum. While it is unlikely that real money online casinos will ever be launched in the state, players can still enjoy a number of social and sweepstakes casinos. These sites, such as High 5 Casino, offer free-to-play games and the chance to win real-world prizes.
It seems likely that any future attempt to introduce online casinos in California will be a joint effort between the federal and state governments. The federal government’s decision to reverse its position on the Wire Act was a major milestone in this regard. This change in policy has opened the door for states to offer their own regulated online casino services.
The state’s biggest hurdle to legalizing online casinos, though, is the Native American tribes who currently operate several dozen brick-and-mortar casinos in the region. These casinos generate an estimated $8 billion a year in revenue and have the political and economic clout to ensure that they retain their position as a powerful competitor in any potential bids to introduce new forms of gambling in the state.