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Even though it was late to the party, New York is a serious contender for online poker legalization.
The state came close in 2017, and sponsors of an effort that made it through a vote in the Senate tried again in 2018. One more though, players will have to wait for next year. Legalization could make New York the fifth state — following New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and Pennsylvania — to legalize online poker.
Read on for the latest NY online poker news along with a summary of the story for online poker so far in New York.
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The dream of online poker died yet again in 2018, when the legislature failed to act on pair of active bills. Will the state try again next year? Probably so, but the key lawmaker in the Assembly says he’ll prioritize sports betting in 2019.
Meanwhile, we’re left to diagnose what went wrong yet again while neighboring Pennsylvania prepares to launch its own industry. A new court ruling regarding fantasy sports seems to dim the prospects in NY even further.
A new bill to regulate online poker in New York has been introduced by State Sen. John Bonacic, reviving the push for online poker legalization...
Some believe the changing landscape for online poker could help push New York to the finish line in the near future.
New Jersey is now pooling online poker players with Nevada and Delaware, creating a multistate poker industry. PA is join ing them soon, as well.
Here’s the timeline of “progress” toward NY online poker so far:
Pretlow seemed more eager to push things in the Assembly, but that optimism didn’t turn into action.
We saw real progress made on online poker in 2016.
It started off with some forward momentum via committee hearings. Then, Bonacic managed to get his iPoker bill through the Senate with a lopsided vote of 53-5 late in the legislative session.
However, Pretlow said the issue didn’t have support in his chamber, and the bill died on the vine. In the wake of that, Pretlow cited a variety of concerns, including whether poker is a “game of skill” and the issues of security and cheating at sites.
Daily fantasy sports was legalized and regulated by the government in 2016.
In May of 2015 Bonacic reintroduced his online poker bill, S 5302, but once again the legislature didn’t act on it, and entering 2016, online poker had never even warranted a hearing.
The year before, in March of 2014, a bill seeking to legalize online poker, S 6913, was introduced by Bonacic, who would become online poker’s biggest cheerleader in New York in the years to come. Several months later, in July of 2014, Pretlow introduced a similar online poker bill in the State Assembly.
Recognizing the mood in the legislature, Bonacic called his 2014 bill a conversation starter, and stated that he never intended to make a serious push for online poker expansion in 2014.
The biggest hurdle online poker had to overcome in the New York legislature was the attitude voiced by several key politicians that online legislation needed to wait until the state completed its current gaming expansion project, four new brick-and-mortar casinos.
Three of those casinos are now up and running, with Rivers Casino taking its first bet in February 2017, and del Lago in January 2017. Tioga Downs officially expanded into a casino in December 2016.
Online poker was first broached in 2013, as a potential funding source for the state’s budget; an idea that never gained any traction.