Will New York Ever Legalize Online Poker?

Gary Pretlow

With varying opinions of online poker by New York lawmakers, will the state ever pass legislation allowing the games to take place?

For years now, the state of New York has considered online poker legislation. While discussions have taken place and bills introduced, no movement has come close to seeing iPoker legislation become law. In today’s climate, lawmakers have mixed feelings when it comes to online gaming in the state. There are those who are for the option and want to see legislation come to pass, while others are not so sure. The state may continue to fall behind if legislators cannot get on the same page when it comes to online gaming.

For Online Poker Gaming

Right now, one lawmaker that wants to see online poker come to pass in the state is Assemblyman Clyde Vanel. Efforts are being led by Vanel to see online poker legislation move forward. The Assemblyman recently pushed for legislators to sign a letter in favor of online poker but was unable to gain the numbers he wanted to see in support of the idea. The letter had 52 names listed and was sent to Speaker Carl Heastie to show that legislators are in favor of the gaming option.

To see online poker legislation come to pass in the state, there is going to have to be more support in place. Vanel will need to have the backing to get a proposal off the ground and moving if there is any way that online poker is going to gain any ground in New York.

The Opposition

Gary PretlowAnd as there are those who are for online poker gaming, so are there those who are opposed. The opposition either does not want to see online gaming come to pass in the state or they are just not helping. Someone who has stood in the way for some time is Assemblyman Gary Pretlow. The Assemblyman has sponsored bills in the past that were introduced within the Assembly that supported online poker, but he tends to flip flop on the issue.

Pretlow recently spoke with FiOS1’s Andrew Whitman about the gambling industry and seemed to focus on sports betting in a positive manner. When the subject of online poker was brought up, the Assemblyman began to speak in a negative connotation. He stated that online poker is a work in progress but eventually it would get done.

Pretlow stated that his fellow lawmakers feel that online poker is gambling, and he is trying to convince them that it is a game of skill and should not be considered gambling. According to the Assemblyman, this is a common argument within the legislature, but he thinks that eventually, the option will come to pass in the state.

Pretlw was asked during the interview if he felt that sports betting would help to push online poker along and he flat out said no. It seems that online poker gaming still has some ways to go in the state before even a proposal will be introduced that lawmakers can agree on.

In the meantime, neighboring states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania are continuing their efforts with online gambling and NY is going to fall behind. New Jersey already has a booming online gaming industry with no signs of slowing down and Pennsylvania should begin offering online casino and poker games by the end of the year or early 2019.

Posted in: iGaming Regulatory & Industry