A new bill to license and regulate online poker in the state of New York will be introduced, however Gary Pretlow, the head of the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering has already stated that, “Online poker will not happen within the year, but there will probably be hearings.” So it seems that there will be a bill, but one that won’t even get to the voting stage and there are a number of reasons for this.
Last year we saw a bill introduced by Senator John Bonacic and he made it clear back then, that the bill was not expected to get far, but was rather more of a way to start the discussion about regulated online poker in New York. That bill was backed up with a strong social media campaign called ‘Let NY Play’ and although that gained plenty of traction, it did nothing to move things forward.
So what’s the problem? There are two things working against the passing of a New York online poker bill at present, with the first being that New York officials are at present working on land based gaming projects and the expansion of New Yorks casino industry. With three casino sites already being given the go ahead and a fourth being a possibility, it seems it’s one thing at a time as far as the officials are concerned. The other major factor is that the New Jersey regulated online gaming venture is hardly living up to expectations, with revenues falling way short of what was expected. Whether those expected revenues were way too high to begin with is another argument, and the fact remains that it is being looked upon as somewhat as a non starter by many observers. Should there be problems or delays with New Yorks land based expansions then it would be highly likely that online poker would be kicked even further down the ‘to do’ list, leaving things sitting as they are for at least another 12 months.