Online Poker in New York? Maybe Not
It's looking likely that Online Poker players in the state of New York are going to have to wait until at least early 2014 for any move to be made on the legalization front. There was a little bit of optimism creeping in when talk a few weeks back centered around that a court ruling had declared poker a game of skill rather than chance or luck however that case was presided over by Judge Jack Weinstein and is a federal case and not a state one, meaning it matters little to state laws. However online poker did make the state budget proposal and was co-signed by NY Senate leaders Jeff Klien and Dean Skelos and included the following statement, "The Senate supports authorizing and regulating internet gaming for games of skill, including poker, to reflect recent changes in the classification of these games." Estimations are that online poker revenue could raise as much as $100 million in state revenue however this all comes in the middle of negotiations between Senate and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo over the authorization of more land based casinos in the state, and that is by no means going well.
Times are Changing in New York
Online poker will more likely than not, not make the cut and be included in the final budget agreement but at least there was talk of it which is a good sign for many of the interested parties. Remember that this is only the budget and should it make the cut then this would mean funds would be allocated from the expected funds to be gained from the venture. The good news would be that, should funds be allocated then the legalization of online poker would then become a priority to save the state from having to find the funds elsewhere. However it's a long shot a best and has no real support in state assembly. John Pappas the executive director of The Poker Players Alliance said that, "I think what we've done is successfully lay groundwork for the introduction of online poker to be part of the larger casino debate that is going to happen in May, "It's a meaningful accomplishment that we actually had the senate include the language as it did in the outset. We have a lot more work to do on the Assembly side. We plan to be heading up to Albany in the next couple months to get ready for the discussion in May." That really does just about sum the situation up nicely and adding a little urgency to it all is that fact that New Jersey is going full steam ahead and hoping to see revenue from their own venture very soon. It's all a little different in New York now as at one stage this was the state going against many online poker rooms in attempts to shut them down, and at least now it is being openly debated.