New York is one of several states trying to fill its coffers with the revenue from online poker and sports betting, but the gambling expansion is still uncertain.
Local legislators have recently discussed two proposals for legalizing an online poker market. The project introduced last year by Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and Senator John Bonacic, failed to make it to the Assembly floor but there is still hope.
Officials introduced two proposals last year, AB-5250 and SB-3898, to legalize online gaming operations addressing poker rooms in the State of New York. Although the first one didn’t even make it to the voting, legislators are hoping the second one, SB-3898 will be approved next month. New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow believes that all it takes is to get it to the floor. He can’t guarantee the passage but getting it to the floor is enough and he will fight for it.
The main problem seems to be that many members of the Assembly think poker is gambling rather than the game of skill. He will push forward to legalize online poker but there are no guarantees. He even joked that every member of the committee has “an Uncle Louie that lost his paycheck” and that’s why they are not open-minded to online poker. With 150 lawmakers in the Assembly, this is going to be a tough try.
It wouldn’t be the first time the proposed poker bills passed the Senate and then stalled in the Assembly. Should the bill passes, New York would become the fourth state with legal online gambling after Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Pennsylvania is still working on fully regulating and legalizing the industry.
Pretlow hopes to see sports betting at the state’s casinos by the end of June, after the Gaming Commission establishes its rules and govern sports betting under the existing legal framework.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down PASPA, the constitutional amendment from 2013 allows the existing land-based casinos to offer sports betting. There are four such venues in New York with Resorts World Catskills being the largest. Pretlow and State Senator Jon Bonacic have introduced more sports betting bills into the state legislature hoping to set up a taxation scheme and other regulations.
Sports betting may be the boost that online poker needs.