New York state nixes online poker again

The chances of the state of New York introducing legal, regulated online gambling and poker in 2018 took a major hit earlier this week.

The New York state senate and Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a $116-billion state budget earlier this week, but it did not include any revenue or funding from online gambling or poker. That effectively killed any chances of a bill legalizing and regulating online gambling being passed in New York this year.

To be fair, any chance of online gambling coming to New York in 2018 was likely already dead before the budget came down. The budget just confirmed it and put the final nail in the coffin.

In January, for the third straight year the New York senate voted on and passed a bill that would amend several state laws to allow a special category for “game of skill” that would include online poker games. This would be a necessary first step to bringing online poker to New York state.

The bill, S3898, may have passed the senate, but once again as with previous bills looking to legalize and regulate online poker, it stalled and died in the state House of Assembly. The assembly refused to even vote on the bill, stopping any plans to move forward on legalized online poker dead in their tracks.

Failure a blow for bricks and mortar casinos

The failure of the latest attempt at bringing online poker is bad news for struggling bricks and mortar casinos in New York. It was expected that if online gambling became legal in New York, it would be run by the bricks and mortar casinos the same way it is in other states where online gambling is legal, such as New Jersey.

The New York casinos could definitely use the added revenue, as many are struggling right now. One example is the Del Lago Resort Casino in Seneca County. The new $440-million casino is having debt trouble and has asked the state for a bailout. The Del Lago estimated $263 million in revenue during its first year of business but missed that target by $100 million.

With New York passing on online gambling again, there remain only four states that have legalized online gambling – New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and Pennsylvania.