It’s pretty clear that there are some lawmakers in New York that want to pass a bill to legalize online casinos, but at this point that doesn’t seem likely. Governor Kathy Hochul does not seem to be in support of online casino gaming in 2024, but there is a chance that she could eventually come around in 2025.
Lawmakers in the state are now facing a tougher challenge, and it’s coming from the New York Hotel and Gaming Trades Council. That is a union that represents casino and resort workers in the state, and it wants no part in online casinos.
The Hotel Trades Council (HTC) is not interested in doing any negotiating at this time, regardless of what the lawmakers might propose. Even though the most recent bill calls for a $25 million fund to be set up for these workers, the union doesn’t want to risk losing out on any jobs moving forward.
Loss of jobs is one of the main issues that the union is fighting for, and they are thinking much deeper than what’s on the surface. The legalization of online casinos could eventually cost hotel and resort workers jobs, but it also won’t create many new opportunities.
Other states with online casino gaming have had to fight many opponents along the way, but this is a new challenge in New York.
Loss of Revenue?
The HTC is mostly focused on the loss of jobs, but casinos in the state are concerned about losing out on some gross gaming revenue. If residents of the state choose to play online as opposed to visiting a casino, that will keep them from making any money.
Other states with both traditional casino gambling and online casino gambling have actually seen both industries post great numbers, but a recent study in Maryland conflicts that theory. That study came from the state of Maryland, another where lawmakers are hoping to get a bill passed.
That study showed that iGaming could cause a decrease of 4-8% in commercial casino jobs, and that would be harmful to the current job force. Studies in other states have actually shown that casino revenue should increase with more gambling options, but lawmakers in New York cannot convince their residents of that.
New York is now the clear leader in online sports betting, and it could become a massive online casino market as well. That could cause a dip in online revenue in the state of New Jersey as well, but that state won’t have to worry anytime soon.
New Casinos Coming?
There are still no casinos in the downstate part of New York, and that is something that residents and lawmakers would love to see. The construction of a downstate casino is actually included in this bill, and that is something that could generate more support.
The HTC is in support of adding a new casino downstate, but it could lobby to lawmakers to create a separate bill to get that done. There are a number of companies that would welcome the opportunity to build a new casino, but there is still plenty of work to be done.
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