Summary: After fighting for years to see online poker come to fruition in New York, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow is ready to throw in the towel if sports betting would be approved.
Since 2013, online poker and casino gaming has been a reality in the United States. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada were able to pass legislation in that time frame and have been able to offer services for a five year time frame.
Over the past few years, several states have considered online casino and poker legislation, but only one has been able to pass a bill. Pennsylvania is set to launch services at any time, increasing the number of states offering services in the northeastern region of the US. New York has tried and tried to get the ball rolling with online gaming, only to fall short each and every time.
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has spent three years of his time the Assembly to try and see online poker come to pass in the state. Now it seems he would throw it all away if sports betting legislation could be passed in the state. In speaking with Online Poker Report, Mr. Pretlow stated that he would give up online poker for sports betting if he had a choice. The revenue stream for sports betting is actually doing better than what online poker could provide.
Working for Years on Legislation
Mr. Pretlow began his efforts with poker online gaming in New York back in 2016. He introduced legislation trying to see New York join New Jersey in offering some form of online gaming. However, all efforts failed. The state was able to see legislation pass in the Senate, but the Assembly was unable to move any bill through.
Over the years, New Jersey has proven to be successful with online casino gaming but has struggled with online poker. It seems New York might have made a good decision in not offering online poker just yet, but casino gaming and sports betting are booming in neighboring states. With Pennsylvania set to start offering online services at any time, to stay competitive, New York has to do something. 2019 needs to be the year that the state becomes involved in online gaming in some form or fashion if they do not want to fall behind when compared to neighboring states.
In New York, it has been estimated that $20 million to $25 million could be generated from online poker. However, with sports betting, the low end is $150 million. The state would fair much better by offering sports betting instead of focusing on online poker. It seems the monetary argument could push lawmakers to focus their efforts on sports betting to make some type of change in the state.
As 2019 begins, Mr. Pretlow has plans to continue his online gaming efforts. According to his interview with Online Poker Report, Mr. Pretlow will be introducing an online poker bill, but he will be working to prioritize his efforts and do one thing at a time. The thought now is that sports betting is too important as it can bring in much needed funds and it could be messed up if focused on with online poker gaming.
It will be interesting to watch as the New Year begins to see if New York will be able to pass legislation and what they will start with by way of a gaming expansion, online poker, sports betting or both.