It’s a tough world out there for New York casino gamers. While the Empire State does have its fair share of brick-and-mortar venues, online options are still wholly unavailable. Considering the high demand in this sector, many are calling for New York to get the ball rolling on iGaming legislation. But how would such a move affect the established business landscape? Surprisingly, there are benefits at all levels. Read on to discover how the state itself, local businesses, and New York residents all stand to get a piece of the pie.
A Rise in Tax Revenue for New York
It makes sense that many casino fans prefer the ease and convenience of playing over the web. However, players aren’t the only ones who can reap the rewards of online casinos. States that welcome web-based gaming venues rake in extra tax dollars from the industry, meaning more money to spend on public programs and services.
New Jersey broke records in 2020 with nearly $970 million in online casino gaming revenue. That’s more than double what they made the previous year, and NJ took home 15% of that revenue in taxes. It was a fantastic haul for the Garden State, but some of those profits came straight out of New York’s pocket.
Since New York residents don’t have access to online casinos, many of them are spending their money in nearby New Jersey. Because iGaming is legal and regulated in the Garden State, gamers traveling there can take advantage of plentiful entertainment choices from trusted online casino providers that aren’t available in New York. Well-established operators like 888 Casino take center stage with an array of alluring gaming options, including fan favorites like blackjack, roulette, and hundreds of exciting casino slots.
Variety like this keeps players engaged and coming back for more—the only issue is that they have to travel across state lines to get their game on. Bringing these big-name brands into New York would allow residents to enjoy the kind of quality they’re accustomed to in New Jersey while keeping all the taxable revenue in New York coffers.
Boost in Tourism, Hospitality, & Entertainment
When New Yorkers head over to New Jersey to participate in online casino gaming and sports betting, they don’t just spend money on the games themselves. They buy hotel rooms, in places like the Hyatt hotel, food, and tickets for entertainment events. They rent cars, visit attractions, and pick up souvenirs for friends and family. All these purchases contribute to the local economy.
From restaurant owners to musicians to hoteliers, everyone stands to profit when the tourists come to town. We can see this evidenced on a much larger scale in the vast adult playgrounds of Las Vegas, where the tourism industry generates nearly $60 billion in annual revenue and supports 382,000 jobs. Of course, these numbers are so large partly because Sin City is built on a backbone of land-based casinos—but online options haven’t hurt them, either.
In states like New Jersey and Nevada, having online casinos work in tandem with brick-and-mortar venues is working out quite well so far. Partnerships between online and retail casinos provide a way to generate more profit for the state, with regulated and taxable online play.
Additionally, tourists themselves enjoy staying at resorts where online gaming is available. The web-based options offer a wider range of entertainment, and users feel more at ease having a trusted retail casino serve as a liaison between them and a web-based provider.
Since New York already experiences massive amounts of tourism, the infrastructure is primed and ready for the influx of visitors iGaming could draw in. And if online casinos were legalized in New York, it’s likely that the plethora of specialty hotels, restaurants, and theaters that call the state home would experience additional profits and expansion on a whole new level. Entrepreneurs and new business owners would also have opportunities to launch and grow in a market ripe for the taking, setting the stage for smaller enterprises to flourish.
Employment Opportunities & Economic Growth
At first glance, it doesn’t seem like online casinos can provide many employment opportunities. After all, they conduct business over the internet, eliminating the need for floor managers and waitstaff. Furthermore, many providers operate from overseas offices, where they already have employees. However, the truth is that iGaming does create jobs—many of them with benefits and good wages, to boot.
New Jersey iGaming has created 6,600 full-time jobs and paid out over $400 million in employee wages since it became legal back in 2013. How could this be? Most of these jobs come from positions such as tech support, fraud detection, accounting, and customer service for casino websites. Much of the local marketing is done by in-state companies and local affiliates as well.
While it’s true that casino companies have employees and offices in other locations, New Jersey regulations stipulate that these operators must hire local people to fill many of the new job openings created by the casinos’ business in-state. By ensuring that new jobs are kept for locals, legislators allow economic prosperity to reach all levels of the community.
If New York were to enact legislation to regulate online casinos, lawmakers would likely follow a similar path. It only makes sense to keep employment opportunities localized, as this promotes native interests above a bottom-line profit margin. While we can’t foresee the exact numbers as far as jobs go, New York has a much larger market than New Jersey—so logically, we can expect similar numbers or numbers perhaps even higher than those in the Garden State.
While online casinos have not yet been given the green light in New York, the recent legalization of web-based sports betting inspires hope in many casino gamers’ hearts. We may see online casinos coming soon, and New Yorkers are waiting with bated breath for legislators to announce the change. With the potential for higher tax revenues and profits for local businesses, the possibilities for economic growth are waiting just around the corner.