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A look at Hollywood Casino York as we discuss New York's potential special legislative session to legalize online casinos.
Hollywood Casino York, an 80,000-square-foot casino, features 510 slot machines and 30 table games. Photo by Paul Kuehnel via Imagn.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul is reportedly considering calling a special legislative session to discuss legalizing real money online casinos in New York.

This legislation would add online casino gambling to the already legalized New York sports betting scene, which has proven to be one of the most lucrative in the country. The state opened its door to New York sports betting apps in 2019 but has been slow to roll out a similar pathway for mobile casino apps.

Although the regular legislative session for New York has closed, there is still a serious need to provide funding for the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA). The governor could call a special session as soon as July following the June 25 primary elections.

The rush for funding comes after Gov. Hochul paused a plan to impose tolls on drivers in busy parts of Manhattan when signing the 2025 budget.

“I understand the level of concern at this time," she told reporters on June 10. "But I, as the governor of the state of New York, I'm committed to continuing those projects with alternative funding."

Senator Joseph Addabbo has introduced legislation to legalize online casinos annually since 2022, including SB S8185 in January 2024. He's been vocal about how iGaming legislation could benefit the MTA, much like how the neighboring NJ online casino market helps benefit the Garden State.

“This is new revenues," Addabbo said in 2023. "So you want to use it for healthcare, you want to use it for social services, you want to use part of it for the MTA? Here it is."

Lawmakers have used other gambling avenues to provide the MTA with needed funding, including recently passing a bill to speed up the selection process of three downstate casinos. The revenues from these casinos would be directed toward the MTA.