New York online poker bill could see resurgence in 2018

  • New York State could become the fifth state to see leglized online poker
  • Online Poker is viewed as a way to help plug the State budget deficit

This year could potentially be a big one for online poker in New York. The two bills that were on the table in 2017 still remain in play as this year’s legislative session gets under way in the state.

New York Poker

The state of New York’s need to generate income could serve to raise the chance of changes to legislation that favours online poker becoming legalised, a move that would make New York the fifth US state to do so. Whether that would have any knock-on impact for other states’ own legalisation attempts remains a matter of speculation in the industry.

What happens now?

Talk of the two bills’ (A 5250 and S 3898) resurgence is reported as being largely positive, but they both now come under different committees. A5250 now sits under the Codes Committee after the assembly never took up the senate version of the bill, whilst S3898 now comes under the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.

While it is very early to consider possible outcomes as yet it has been noted that, if S 3898 were to pass, it would allow up to 11 online licensees to operate in New York State, giving players a real opportunity for selection.

It’s worth noting that Rep. Gary Pretlow struggled to get his sponsored A5250 through the Senate in 2017, but it has been reported that arguments for the legalisation of online poker in New York continue to grow.

State debt

Like many US states, New York faces debts leading those in favour of online poker to reference other US states’ gambling income as a potentially lucrative reason to pass these laws as new legislation. If the law changes, each of the eleven licensees would have to pay a reported £10 million for the privilege, as well as additional taxes.

New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have come up with an Interstate agreement to pool players and further down the line NY could see that as a possible option. The possibilities of revenue income from gambling in the state are understandably large, with the capabilities of generating a bigger market than California.

What they say

Sen. John Bonacic – the sponsor of the Senate version of the poker bill – is reported by Online Poker Report as saying: “With a projected $4 billion budget deficit, we will have to make important decisions this legislative session. I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and in both houses, to see that the people’s business is done.”

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