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New York Senate To Vote On Internet Poker

Legislation Cleared The Senate Last Year, But Died In Assembly


The Empire State will try again at online poker.

New York’s Senate on Monday will vote on the online poker proposal sitting on the table, according to the Poker Players Alliance. Last year, the Senate approved the internet gaming bill by a 53-5 vote.

The legislation has been making its way through committees, most recently clearing the Senate Finance Committee in May. Its future in the Assembly is less certain.

New York has an estimated year-one online poker market of $120 million. For comparison, New Jersey’s internet poker market was nearly $30 million in 2016.

Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, Chairman of the Committee on Racing and Wagering, said in February that the state’s commercial casinos are on board with web poker.

“I didn’t want to put competition in there before they even opened their doors," he said. "All four casinos have said they don’t have a problem with the state offering online poker—and the seven racinos are also eligible to be in partnership with organizations that handle online poker.”

The state’s brick-and-mortar casino construction came at a time when neighboring states were beefing up their respective gambling industries.

New York found that its residents were spending about $1 billion each year at out-of-state casinos, so the legislature authorized four Las Vegas-style facilities for struggling upstate economies. Three of the four have opened already.

Online poker authorization would be great for live poker in New York. The state’s three commercial poker rooms raked $860,000 last month.

Along with New York, the states of Pennsylvania and Illinois are also strongly considering legalizing and regulating online poker this year.