Lawmakers in New York have tried for the past three years to see online gambling make it with the state budget, only to fail again in 2018.
For three years running now, the state of New York has failed to see online gambling added to budget proposals. This marks the third failed attempt as budget proposals have been turned in without the addition of online casino or poker gaming. New York is one of several states that has considered online gaming in the past well as this year, as well as starting discussions involving sports betting. When it comes to progress, NY has fallen behind their fellow states, continuing to fail to find support for any type of online gaming expansion.
This past Sunday was the deadline for New York lawmakers to turn in their budget plans. Lawmakers met the deadline with proposals, but none included online gaming. The Senate had actually included online poker gaming and sports betting within their budget proposal but the Assembly as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo were not in agreement.
The issue is mainly within the Assembly as lawmakers are not in support of online gaming coming to the state. Gary Pretlow is a key factor in how online gaming has yet to move forward in the state. He is the chairman of the Committee on Racing and Wagering, so he has the ability to push forward any such legislation involving an expansion into online casino or poker gaming. He has introduced legislation involving these subjects in the past, but none have been able to move through the committee.
While the Assembly is not showing support, the Senate has seen proponents for the iGaming changes. Several online gambling bills have been passed as standalone legislation in the past but has been unable to move further. Online poker has actually been approved in the State Senate for the past three years in a row. However, the Assembly and Governor’s proposals do not include provisions for iGaming.
Sports Betting May Be the Key Component
For online gaming to become a reality in the state, the focus may need to shift to sports betting. For the past few months, several states, including New York, have begun to focus on sports betting legislation. States are preparing for a positive outcome in the Christie vs NCAA case involving the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The United States Supreme Court is set to rule on the matter and if New Jersey wins, states will then be able to get started with sports betting within their borders.
New York is likely to be a leader in this regard. A law is already on the books that would allow the state to begin to offer such gaming, but changes will have to be made in order to bring in stakeholders. A sense of urgency has begun over recent months as SCOTUS may be nearer to a decision in the case. None of the laws that have been enacted can be activated until a positive ruling is made in this case.
With a new focus on sports betting, New York could be a driving force behind the movement in the US and this could then spur talks again about online gaming. Neighboring state New Jersey already offers online casino and poker gaming and Pennsylvania is set to start soon. If the state does not take action soon involving online gaming, they could continue to fall behind.
It will be interesting to see how the budget proposals end up and if the state can ever move forward with online gaming legislation. Only time will tell if the Assembly can begin to show support and the state becomes like their neighbors and finally passes legislation involving online gaming, be it in casino and/or poker form.