A few weeks ago a few posts started appearing on Facebook and Twitter with the simple message of ‘Let NY Play’. This has grown into a bit of a social media campaign with the simple yet clear message being that if regulated online poker is allowed in New Jersey then why can’t that be the case in New York too. It was unknown who was behind the campaign, however it’s come to light that it was in fact from MGM Resorts, from their Vegas HQ. The new Facebook page simply called Let NY Play now has over 5,000 likes and will continue to grow, and while MGM has no interest in the new land based casinos in New York, it has never hidden the fact that it wants to be a major player in any new regulated US online poker markets.
Bills have been put forward to regulate poker in the state, the most recent of which was proposed by Senator John H Bonacic who has himself stated that although it would bring additional tax revenue to the state, it would take a while to get pushed through. It’s estimated that New York residents could generate as much as $80 million in taxes, and about the same amount from the sale of licenses, however after seeing the numbers in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, it would be wise to keep initial estimations low, with the estimates in those 3 states where regulated online poker is in place nowhere near the actual amounts being generated...and not in a good way.
While MGM appear to be very much on the side of New York poker players, it’s not the case with all casino operators and Sheldon Adelson is still pushing quite the opposite, lobbying in Washington for a Federal ban on online gaming. Mr Adelson may well be fighting a losing battle however, as it’s highly unlikely that laws made within the 3 states that regulate online gambling will be turned around at a Federal level. This is the first little push we’ve seen in a while for regulated poker in NY, however it’s likely to gain much support from the powers that be, as little will be done before the new New York casino licenses and locations are sorted out. Online poker players in NY do of course get their action at the many offshore rooms that accept them, with BetOnline Poker being one of the largest.