New York lawmakers are not not backing down from their desire to bring legal and regulated online poker to the Empire State. A pair of online poker bills from last year, namely A 5250 and S 3898, have moved to this year’s session although they lost some of their steam and need to backtrack slightly in the legislative channels.
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S 3898 “allows certain interactive poker games be considered games of skill rather than games of luck; includes definitions, authorization, required safeguards and minimum standards, the scope of licensing review and state tax implications; makes corresponding penal law amendments.” This law passed the Senate chamber in June 2017 and now returns to the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.
The Assembly version of the bill, A 5250 is currently in the Codes Committee.
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow who has constantly pushed for legal online poker – but has also backed away from the bill on some occasions – noted earlier last year that “part of the reason nothing happens in the early part of the session is we have to get committees up and running again and start from scratch.”
He said that he hoped to address the bills again in February this year.
As with the case of Pennsylvania, New York wants to expand its gambling regime because of problems it has with its budget deficit. It’s not sure how great an impact that only legalizing online poker will have on the $4 billion deficit, but it certainly will be better than nothing.
Senator John Bonacic who sponsored S 3898, said recently that because of such a large deficit, the state will need to make important decisions during the legislative session.
“I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and in both houses, to see that the people’s business is done,” he said.