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New York Sports Betting Tax Cuts Fizzle Out of Budget

New York Sports Betting Tax Cuts Fizzle Out of Budget article feature image
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Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Rangers fans walk past Madison Square Garden.

A plan to halve New York’s nation-high tax on online sports betting is not expected to make the state budget according to Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr.

A week past their deadline for the final 2023 budget, the General Assembly and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) remain “laser-focussed” on finalizing a deal to add three new downstate casinos. But it’s likely the only gaming change in store, Addabbo said.

The assembly’s proposal, sent to Hochul in early March, would have lowered New York’s online sports betting tax from 51% to 35% next year and to 25% by 2024. The tax change would kick in by licensing seven additional sportsbooks to the state’s current nine. The General Assembly’s plan would have also made revenue from promos tax deductible.

Hesitant to Mess with Tax Revenue

Addabbo said his colleagues grew hesitant to go through with the plan once revenue from the first two months started coming in.

Since going live with online sports betting in late January the state has generated a record $105 million for education.

“It may have been a little premature and that’s okay. It gives us something to work off of in seven or eight months,” Addabbo said.

Companies Weathering the Storm

Several companies have drawn back hefty promotions since launch. How long they can weather a 51% tax rate, reportedly costing $200 million in losses a month, remains to be seen.

Last year they fought tooth and nail for a tax in line with neighboring Pennsylvania (36% tax) and New Jersey  (14.25% tax), two of the longest running and most profitable sports betting states.

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was unwilling to budge. Many of the largest operators opened up shop in New York anyway, unwilling to pass up footholds in one of the largest U.S. markets.

Addabbo is optimistic the change they’ve been clamoring for may eventually come with the current governor.

“She has a willingness to discuss, which I appreciate,” Addabbo said. “This legislature is always looking at making the changes necessary to improve and compete with other states. We’re always trying to make it better.”

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