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New York Online Poker Bill Gaining Support In Assembly

Could This Finally Be The Year For The Empire State?

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New York’s online poker efforts could be getting a serious shot in the arm thanks to growing support in the one legislative chamber it has historically struggled in.

Per OnlinePokerReport, the Assembly version of the online poker pitch, A 5250, could soon quadruple its number of sponsors, which would bode well for its chances there.

The New York State Senate has, on more than one occasion, passed an online poker bill. The Senate bill most recently cleared a committee vote in January.

The man spearheading the bill in the Senate, Republican State Senator John Bonacic, expects the measure to clear a full Senate vote again in 2018.

“There are many media reports that the [commercial] casinos aren’t meeting their revenue expectations,” Bonacic said at a hearing on his legislation. “This would be another tool in their toolbox to enhance revenues, if we allowed them to do it. This will be the third time that the Senate has passed this bill, and I know Assemblyman [Gary] Pretlow, who chairs the Racing and Wagering [Committee] in the Assembly, is supportive of the bill. I know he will continue to use his best efforts to move it in the Assembly.”

It’s unlikely the full Assembly would vote on the measure before June, so poker players in New York and beyond should pay attention to developments this summer.

Last fall, Pennsylvania became just the fourth state to pass a law for regulating online gaming sites. In addition to New York, Michigan, Louisiana and West Virginia are all considering online casinos.