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New York City Casino Workers Oppose iGaming Bill over Fears of Losing Their Jobs

Legalization of online sports betting in New York Following the legalization of online sports betting in New York in 2022, local punters have placed mobile wagers worth $16 Billion on sports in the first year, generating $709 Million in gambling tax revenue for the state coffers. New York State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., a supporter of gambling expansion, has recently brought back legislation that would legalize online casino games too.

The bill would enable casino enthusiasts to enjoy their favorite variations of slots, poker, blackjack, lottery, and craps from the comfort of their surroundings, eliminating the necessity of visiting a brick-and-mortar casino establishment.

This move, however, has been opposed by approximately 700 Queens casino workers. They have voiced their concerns that remote iGaming would be unfavorable to their jobs at Resorts World Casino New York City, as reported by New York Post.

The casino workers signed a letter under the aegis of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, a union for hotel and gaming workers in New York and Northern New Jersey. Being located in the neighborhood of Aqueduct, in Schenectady County in the State of New York, the land-based casino’s employees are constituents of Senator Addabbo. The workers have described their concerns that if the expanded iGaming opportunities become authorized by state laws, their jobs would be jeopardized.

As the letter read, “When customers come to a racino, VLT parlor, or casino, they support all of our jobs, including cooks, bartenders, servers, maintenance workers, and hotel workers”. With the potential legalization of online casinos, all these jobs may be endangered, as gamblers would prefer the convenience of online gaming, instead of visiting land-based casinos in person.

Senator Addabbo Claims Online Gaming Will Create More Job Opportunities in the Sector

New York State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. Bhav Tibrewal, Political Director at the New York Hotel Trades Council, commented that the union has repeatedly opposed the iGaming bills that Senator Addabbo has reintroduced and that “now it’s time for him and other legislators to start hearing it directly from casino workers.”

In response to the protests, the Senator said that similar to online sports wagering, the legalization of online casino games was “inevitable”. As many analysts have argued, it was a matter of “when”, not “if”.

Furthermore, the Senator argued that instead of jeopardizing the jobs of casino workers, the legalization of the remote gaming industry would create more job opportunities. He drew attention to studies that have manifested such results.

Senator Addabbo further mentioned other neighboring jurisdictions, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, that have already legalized online games, with many New Yorkers placing bets through their online platforms. Furthermore, the expanded iGaming opportunities would generate up to $1 Billion in annual revenue, according to some New York financial experts. The Senator has not failed to mention it would be beneficial in overcoming the state’s projected deficits.

Bill 856 is the Senator’s second attempt at legalizing online casino games in the Empire State for the second consecutive year. If passed into law, operators would be subjected to a 30.5% tax as well as a license fee of $2 Million.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.