New York State Plan for Budget to Include Regulation for Online Poker

New York State FlagA common way for states in the US to contemplate online poker legislation is to add regulations within a state budget. In Pennsylvania, there has been talk for some time of adding online poker gaming to the budget to try and meet the needs of the state. In New York, online poker regulation has now been added to the state budget plan, within the first draft that was recently presented by legislators.

On Monday, it was announced that the state had added the online poker regulations to the plan for the budget and the Poker Players Alliance is making sure they stay on top of all announcements. The group is now asking residents of the state to take action, contacting lawmakers to try and ensure that the regulation is passed.

S6409B includes Part FFF which includes the language that the senate advances language to authorize and regulate online poker. This language is said to be what Senator John Bonacic uses in S5302B, a separate bill that will be used to regulate daily fantasy sports betting, which is also being included during the draft of the budget.

Bonacic introduced a poker online measure in 2015 but was not able to see his bill move forward. The state lawmakers were more concerned with land based gaming as a casino expansion is in the works. New projects are taking shape upstate, with casino gaming licenses awarded, and areas fighting for the right to be home to the available casinos.

Back in February, the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee of the sate passed the measure by a vote of 9-0 and took only five minutes to reach their decision. This was the first time that an online poker bill in the state of New York was able to make any headway. There has not been any more news of this measure until it showed up in the budget earlier this week.

With the measure, it is proposed that ten licenses will be available in the state with a licensing fee set at $10 million with gross gaming revenues taxed at 15%. Licenses would stay intact for ten years.

Back in 2014, MGM Resorts had a study commissioned to take a look at gambling for New York. The study determined that residents of the state may be spending $110 or more a year in online poker gaming based offshores. New York has a large population of almost 20 million people, which would create a large gaming market for the United States as compared to states that already have legalized and regulated online poker gaming.

Overall, online poker could bring in amounts from $50 to $161 million depending on how the industry is cultivated and how players respond. Other states have created estimates for online poker gaming only to find that earnings are far less than perceived. It really is a guessing game until the actual gaming takes place.

It seems now that although online poker gaming has been added to the budget, many feel that the state should wait until the new casinos are running before moving on to the online realm. The deadline for the budget is March 31st so that the state can begin to prepare for the new tax year. As of right now, the budget is basically a blueprint and both houses must agree on the terms before the bill can be passed.

Pressure is mounting and we should know the fate of online poker gaming in the state within just a few days. It doesn’t seem like legislation will pass but seeing the measure added to the budget does create a sense of hope among poker players who live or frequently visit the state.