New York online poker bill introducedFebruary 3, 2023 7:23 pm
Legislators in New York are taking another shot at legalizing online poker in the state.
State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has filed Assembly Bill 1380 that, if passed, would bring regulated online poker to New York. Under the bill “certain interactive poker games (would) be considered games of skill rather than games of luck,” which is a key distinction needed to allow online poker to be legalized.
Why was New York online poker bill introduced?
The bill mentions both Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker by name and cites case law that states poker is a game of skill rather than a game of luck, or chance. Live poker has been legal in the state at brick-and-mortar casinos since 2013. Sports betting, both online and in-person is also legal in New York and could pave the way for online poker to finally become legal as well.
The bill also recognized the internet as “an integral part of society, and internet poker a major form of entertainment for many consumer.” Also added to that section was a reminder that regulation is key for the safety of this entertainment by including, “any interactive gaming enforcement and regulatory structure must begin from the bedrock premise that participation in a lawful and licensed gaming industry is a privilege and not a right, and that regulatory oversight is intended to safeguard the integrity of the games and participants and to ensure accountability and the public trust.”
Poker players in New York should not get too excited just yet though. This is far from the first time that lawmakers have tried to legalize online poker in the Empire State.
For example, in 2016 an online poker bill that would have given the New York State Gaming Commission the power to issue up to 11 online poker licenses passed through the State Senate before the Assembly killed it. A similar bill also failed to pass in 2017.