Governor’s Budget Plan Does Not Include Gambling Bill

In a recent development in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul has reportedly released the 2024 Executive Budget which excludes proposals to legalize online casinos in the Empire State. This move comes after a bill proposal to boost the US-largest online market was filed in the New York Senate.

The $233 billion Executive Budget, released by Gov. Hochul on 15 January 2024, aims to dispel hopes of online gambling proponents until further notice. The budget represents the largest in the state’s history and is focused on crime reduction, mental health improvement, safety programs for children, and overall living standard improvement.

Hochul has expressed her commitment to fight for New Yorkers and pursue common ground with common sense. However, some lawmakers, including Sen. Joe Addabbo, have been supporting the bill proposing to add online casino gaming and lottery to the state’s online gambling portfolio. This bill, known as S8185, will be waiting for the final budget agreement until March 31, 2024 at the latest.

Budget Director Blake Washington emphasized that the budget focuses on “school aid, Medicaid, and migrants” and aims to balance the state’s spending with its revenues without raising taxes or resorting to gimmicks. The budget seeks to provide for the needs of the state in a responsible manner.

Despite the push for legalizing online casinos and lottery, some industry representatives estimate that the chances of the legislation being passed stand at less than 50%. This is due to the distraction caused by the ongoing NYC casino expansion process and the state’s limited capacity to handle multiple issues.

In addition to excluding online casinos, Hochul’s budget includes horse racing provisions and proposes the use of up to $1 million of the Capital Off-Track Betting Corporation’s capital acquisition fund for another year.

As of now, it remains to be seen how the New York State Legislature and Gov. Hochul will proceed with the final budget agreement and the fate of the online gambling proposals in the state.