There are new efforts being made to get an online poker vote on the Assembly floor in New York. Assemblyman Clyde Vanel has identified the growing support for regulated online poker in the state and is trying to whip up enough co-sponsors of proposed legislation to make it a reality.
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Vanel’s enthusiasm is rooted in attempts to get online poker into the state budget. Although these efforts failed, what they did reveal was that 60 Democrats in the Assembly signed a letter supporting the inclusion of online poker in the budget.
The Assemblyman now wants these signers to continue their support by becoming co-sponsors of Gary Pretlow’s legislation to authorize online poker sites, A5250. The bill currently has 13 co-sponsors, but Vanel believes that it could have around 70. For the record, it takes 76 votes to pass a bill.
“The budget effort didn’t work, but that’s happens with negotiations,” Vanel explained. “What the exercise did is make us see that there’s more support for online poker than we previously thought.”
Explaining his support for regulated online poker to the opposition, Vanel said: “When I explain to folks that gambling is legal in New York State, that we have casinos, racinos and a lottery, and people can now buy their lottery tickets online and bet on horses online, it’s hard for people to push back and say why we don’t have online poker.”
“If we properly regulate it, that quells all the concerns opponent have against it. Some people, I’ve learned, are not going to change their minds, and I’d rather work on people who can get it.”
In response to concerns that online poker could cannibalize existing New York casinos, Vanel said that it would be these same casinos getting the igaming licenses and offering online poker, and they would benefit from a new revenue stream.