Online Poker Support Provided by New York Assemblyman

Online poker is a hot topic of debate in several states across the US right now, as the activity is being considered as a way to bring about additional revenues for local governments. Online poker has long been an activity that gamblers would like to enjoy but many states either do not have specific legislation and regulations in place to control the industry, are not interested in the activity or are working towards entering the industry. New York is one state showing promise as to be the next state in the US to approve online poker legislation. The state now has additional support via state Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow.

Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has been involved in the state of New York for many years in a leadership capacity, currently working as the chairman of Assembly’s Committee on Racing and Wagering. Pretlow has in the past, shown opposition to online gaming but now seems to have taken a turn in a different direction. The Assemblyman has created his own proposal for online poker and recently announced he is willing to throw his support behind legalization of iPoker gaming in the hopes of seeing legislation pass this year.

Pretlow recently spoke with Andrew Whitman of FIOS1News and stated that if residents of New York are going to participate in online poker then he wants to make sure that the option is as fair as can be. An online poker bill was introduced by Pretlow earlier in February and with his measure, the game of poker would be defined as a game of skill. This would allow the state to avoid restrictions found in the constitution on the authorization of gambling games based on the definition of chance. Senator John Bonacic has filed another bill that is similar to the bill created by Pretlow.

Last year, Pretlow was unwilling to bring a bill involving online poker, submitted by Bonacic, to a floor vote in the Assembly. This killed the chances of the state to approve the gaming option. At the time, Pretlow stated that there was not enough support in the Assembly for online poker gaming and now feels that there is not opposition in place to stop a bill from moving forward this year.

Despite support in place, Pretlow did state that there are some individuals in the administration that are ‘really opposed’ to the gaming option. Many are concerned that iPoker would make it too easy for individuals to be able to gamble. The position of Governor Andrew Cuomo is also unknown.

Assemblyman Pretlow stated that before he introduced his online poker bill, he talked to operators of the four new casinos in the state as well as the racinos of New York that take part in slot gaming. Both bills on the table right now are focused on providing enough licensing for everyone to become involved in they so choose.

On top of online poker, Pretlow is also interested in seeing live cardroom poker offered at racinos and casinos in the state. The Assemblyman did state that he is not ready to support standalone cardrooms as he feels the activity should be limited and obviously casinos/racinos would have first pick.

The legislative session currently taking place will end on the 21st of June. The bill presented by Bonacic was able to clear committee and should get a vote of support in the full Senate. Pretlow’s bill still has to be reviewed in order to move forward.

It will be interesting to watch and see if New York will be able to see a bill become law, becoming the next state to offer online poker gaming in the US.