New York Possibly Moving Closer to Accepting Online Poker

According to a New York state assemblyman, regulated online poker in New York could become a reality by the end of this year.

However, this could still be a boon to gambling casinos within the New York state as it could make poker more popular to its residents, many of whom previously traveled out of state in order to get their gambling fix before.

J. Garty Pretlow, the state’s Chairman of the Committee on Racing and Wagering, believes that online poker eventually will come to pass in New York. The state assemblyman is currently sponsoring legislation that would set down regulations for online poker within the state. An opponent of online poker within the state, Pretlow has changed his tune because he believes regulations can be put in place to make online poker fair and honest to the residents of the state. Pretlow also ventured into nearby New Jersey to get a look at how that state’s $30 million market functions. The trip help allayed Pretlow’s concerns about whether the state of New York can successfully regulate online poker.

New York is moving forward toward online poker since an identical legislation is moving forward in the state’s Senate chamber. Sponsored by state Senator John Bonacic, the bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 53-5 in June 2016. On Feb. 15, the bill then received an unanimous 11-0 vote by the Senate Gaming Committee. The next stop for the bill is the state Senate’s Finance Committee.

Yet, rather than compete with casino-based poker, the creation and acceptance of online poker within the state of New York could spur the whole poker industry within the state. Even with the impending bill, three gambling casinos will open within the state over the next year.

Part of the drive to introduce a state online poker bill complete with regulations is because nearby states New Jersey and Delaware already have such bills in place in addition to the state poker king Nevada.

Some believe that the introduction of online poker would be a boon to the land-based casinos in New York which also offer poker tables. While online poker is popular, it doesn’t still quite the actual live version of playing poker at a table. In the latter scenario, poker players actually see their opponents and possibly read their facial expressions and find tells in their posture and playing style.

Pretlow also made sure that the poker casinos within the state were comfortable with a regulated version of online poker allowed in New York. The goal is to keep some of the estimated $1 billion that New York residents spend at out-of-state casinos within the state itself.

Still, there could still be opposition within the Governor’s Office in regards to legalizing online poker. Governor Mario Cuomo himself hasn’t taken a stance, but several in his administration are said to be opposed to the prospect of making gambling more accessible to residents.