Push For Online Poker Remerges in New York

Online poker is a pastime that many Americans would like to take part in but can’t due to restrictions legally. Only three states in the US currently offer legal and regulated online poker gaming, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Each of these states provide online poker gaming via sites set up by land based casinos that have partnered with online poker operators. Other states have shown interest in becoming involved in the online poker industry over the past few years but none have passed any legislation. It seems that New York State may be back in mix after showing a strong push in 2016 that was unsuccessful.

In New York, online poker has been discussed for many years but had yet to gain any traction that is until last year. A bill passed in the state senate in 2016 by a wide margin of 53-5. A bill was introduced by Senator John Bonacic that was just after a bill had been introduced and failed by Representative J. Gary Pretlow. While the state was unable to pass Bonacic’s measure, they were able to see a bill pass for daily fantasy sports, which helped to allow such contests to become legal in the state.

Now looking into 2017, it seems that online poker discussions will reemerge in the state. Pretlow plans on providing more support, according to GamblingCompliance as he is the chairman of the Assembly Committee that works on issues involving gambling. In an interview with the gambling site, Pretlow stated that he had met with the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey to discuss online gaming and he felt good about security issues once the meeting was over.

Pretlow feels that online poker operators will have the ability, along with state regulators to stop collusion and issues that involve player security. Pretlow had been concerned about security from the very beginning. Now that Bonacic has been able to move his measure forward, and Pretlow will now need to choose if he would like to advance online poker gaming.

Pretlow not only has online poker gaming on his mind but also is looking into sports betting as well. Pretlow would like to pass a measure that would include sports betting in the state of New York. This of course would be a challenge to federal law and something that might not work. New Jersey is currently fighting the PASPA in order to be able to offer sports betting gaming.

Pretlow spoke about sports betting with Law360 stating that sports betting is happening now and billions of dollars are being wagered. A majority of this money goes towards entities that the state does not associate with. Pretlow feels that if people are doing it then they should be doing it controlled. The activity should be taxed and regulated as well as allowed, according to Pretlow.

With the recent updates, it would seem that Pretlow is going to be 100% on board with online poker gaming this year. He may help the activity become legalized, joining other states as they offer such gaming for gamblers.

Only time will tell if New York will move forward with online poker gaming. Other states including Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are looking into legalizing iPoker legislation. It seems that these states and New York are on the same page so we will have to wait and see which one actually moves legislation forward and passes an online gambling bill into law. Efforts are on a pretty even keep so it is anyone’s guess as to which state will be the next to join the industry.