ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — It was just over a year ago the state legalized mobile sports gambling. On Tuesday, experts and lawmakers held a public hearing to review mobile gambling and its budget impact. There are nine operators who run mobile sports wagering here in New York. Experts say its generated almost a trillion dollar in revenue and has already helped bolster the economy.
A substantial amount of revenue has gone towards education, around $5 million for sports programs in underserved communities and $6 million to fund problem gambling organizations. But operators, like Jason Robins, CEO of DraftKings, said the current tax rate of 51% is not sustainable. “With the current tax rate, regulated operators are at a massive disadvantage, when compared to illegal offshore operators, who pay no taxes, offer no responsible gaming measures and take no steps to ensure that they are offering bets to minors or excluded persons,” he said.
Robins said the state will not be able to reach its projection goals with the current tax rate 51% tax rate; Christian Genetski, President of FanDuel agrees. He said if New York were to lower its tax rate to match Pennsylvania’s (which is the second highest in the country) it would still be a step in the right direction. “It doesn’t put the operators necessarily in a great position, we’ll have our lowest margins that we have in any market, but New York is a critically important market for us…so when we do better the state does better,” he said.
Some concerns lawmakers raised include dissuading students on college campuses from participating in online gambling, identity theft for seniors who are using online gambling, and people under 21 using lawful accounts. “Additionally, there’s little ability to control when an authorized account holder leaves their account available affording underage persons to participate,” said Robert Williams, Executive Director of NYS Gaming Commission. Williams also said they were informed of 58 instances where an underage person used a lawful account, “And in all circumstances the account, the subject account was closed,” he explained.
Some say the online market could hurt casinos, but it’s too soon to tell. The Commission will have their next meeting on February 27th. R