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Employees at Resorts World New York have taken a stand against the state’s proposed iGaming legislation, citing concerns over potential job losses and adverse industry impacts. 

The employees voiced their opposition in a letter sent to state senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., who last month reintroduced legislation that would legalise iGaming in New York.

The letter was signed by by around 700 employees of the casino in Queens and sent under the letterhead of the Hotel & Gaming Trades Council, according to the New York Post

“We find it appalling that you are pushing legislation that would hurt workers like us and our industry in order to benefit a handful of companies who are seeking massive profits at our expense,” the letter said.

Addabbo has long championed iGaming, arguing that legislation could help alleviate New York’s expanding budget shortfall. 

Into the pockets of gaming companies

Nonetheless, the workers expressed a different opinion. Ultimately, they argued that online bettors won’t patronise physical casinos, impacting various job sectors such as hospitality and maintenance. 

“When customers come to a racino, VLT [Video Lottery Terminal] parlour, or casino, they support all of our jobs, including cooks, bartenders, servers, maintenance workers, and hotel workers,” the letter said.

“We know that if, instead, they were to game from their homes, workplaces, or elsewhere, their dollars would go straight into the pockets of gaming companies, rather than to support the livelihoods of thousands of New Yorkers who support the state’s gaming industry.”

The union’s political director Bhav Tibrewal added: “This iGaming proposal undercuts the best thing about casino gaming in New York: permanent, high-quality jobs that New Yorkers can live and retire on.

“We’ve stated and re-stated our opposition to iGaming to Senator Addabbo and now it’s time for him and other legislators to start hearing it directly from casino workers.”

No significant cannibalisation effects

A recent study from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming (EKG) suggested that iGaming complements rather than competes with traditional land-based casino revenue streams

The study, which analysed the growth rates of both physical and online casinos across the six US states where iGaming is legal, revealed a 2.44% quarterly increase in revenue for brick-and-mortar establishments following the implementation of online gaming regulations. 

Additionally, the research highlighted the distinct demographic profile of iGaming players, who tend to be younger and more predominantly male compared to their counterparts at land-based casinos. 

Moreover, feedback from casino operators indicated no significant cannibalisation effects on their traditional revenue streams as a result of the introduction of iGaming options.

Resorts World New York City is expected to be one of the applicants for three downstate casino licences

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