New York

Senator Joe Addabbo’s push to establish a strict deadline for the casino licensing process in New York has gained support from the Senate and the Assembly. 

On June 7, state senators green-lit SB 9673 with a 51-4 vote, while the Assembly approved it by 51-9 meaning that the legislation will be sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul for approval. 

Sponsored by Addabbo, the bill would establish a deadline for selecting the three casino venues in downstate New York. The New York legislature had been set to adjourn on June 6 but stayed past that cut-off to vote on the bill.

It is considered likely that Hochul will approve the legislation, given that she has advocated for retail casino expansion in the past.

Addabbo added an amendment to the bill before it passed that requires the New York Gaming Facility Location Board to make recommendations on selecting downstate casinos by December 31, 2025. 

The final possible deadline for licences to be issued would be March 31, 2026. Addabbo’s first proposal, introduced on May 17 with just two weeks left of the legislative session, had been a deadline of a full year earlier.

SB9673 also allows interested developers to apply for casino licences while still in the process of resolving land use issues, meaning that licences could progress significantly faster than the March 2026 deadline. 

The amended bill will allow applications to be considered until August 31, 2024. 

Addabbo estimates that three new casinos could bring in up to $3bn in casino licence fees alone, believing developers will bid up to $1bn per license.

In addition to land-based New York gaming, Addabbo has been an advocate for legalising online casino gaming in the Empire State.

Despite Hochul refusing to include igaming in the recent budget of the state, Addabbo announced he will continue to push for regulated New York igaming.