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Possible Online Casino Gambling Legislation Struggles in NY and ME

April 25, 2024

There are reasons why online casino gambling legislation is so obscure across the entire U.S. These reasons range from Indian Tribe interference to issues with land-based casinos and horse racing venues. Regardless of the reasons, it has become nearly impossible to get online casino gambling legislation to the finish line in one state after another. That includes New York and Maine.

The Lash Hurrah for Online Casino Legislation in New York

Kudos go to New York Sen. Joe Addabbo for taking the topic of online casino gambling to the people of New York. Unfortunately, all of his initial efforts have fallen on deaf ears among his fellow congressmen. Now, the Senator has one card remaining to play. 

His last effort focused on hoping online casino tax revenue would magically appear as a line item on the latest New York state budget. That would signal that legislators and perhaps Gov. Kathy Hochul are showing interest in considering such legislation. All of that became moot as the State budget passed the House this week with nary mention of online casino gambling tax revenue. 

Senator Addabbo still has one more card up his sleeve. It's his attention to appeal to union leadership for help getting online casino legislation moving forward. He hopes that he can convince NY unions that supporting online casino legislation will give them a seat at the table as to how that legislation is written. They can use this access to protect the very retail casino jobs they feel will be threatened if online casino gambling legislation were to be passed. Furthermore, he believes New York can create a universal framework that will other states get online casino legislation around certain political barriers.

In a press release, Senator Addabbo said:

“I really want to put away all of those studies and work with the Hotel Trades Council. I want to be the model for other states that shows iGaming can actually help brick-and-mortar casinos when done right.”

For now, it looks like New York's legislators are entirely focused on bringing retail casinos into the heart of New York City.

Online Gambling Legislation Dies in Maine House

While possible online casino gambling legislation is hanging on by a thread in New York, things are much grimmer in Maine. Effective April 16, 2024, bill LD1777 went down to defeat. That effectively removes any possibility that online casino gambling will see the light of day in Maine in 2024.

After several iterations and amendments, Maine's state Senate approved LD1777 by six votes. Unfortunately, the House wasn't as impressed by what was presented on the House floor. As a result, the bill went down to defeat by five votes.

Maine Rep. Laura D. Supica, who sponsored LD1777, was very disappointed by the outcome. As was the case in the past, the demand for Tribal exclusive rights to all forms of online gambling has proven to be a substantial barrier to getting new legislation passed. However, Supica does expect to make another attempt during the 2025 legislative year.


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