New York iPoker Bill Clears Senate Committee

New York iPoker Bill Clears Senate Committee For the third time in three years, the New York State Senate Committee has approved Senate Bill 3898, a piece of legislation introduced by State Senator John Bonacic and designed to permit online poker products to be offered in New York State.
The regulatory bill passed by a wide 10-1 margin, with just State Sen. James Sanders (Democrat) from Queens casting a single nay vote, despite in 2017 voting in favor of it. Next step on S3898’s journey is the New York State Senate Committee on Finance where a positive outcome will then lead onto a full Senate vote. The signs look good, too, with the bill last year having passed by a margin of 53-9.
However, it’s in the Assembly where the bill is likely to face stiff opposition, where NY Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (photo) has voiced his support for the bill in the past, only to blame others for its not being able to progress onto a subsequent Assembly vote. The Assemblyman has attracted a lot of criticism from pro-online poker legislators for this tendency, which will be further exasperated by his recent bizarre placing of the blame on women members of the Assembly.
As he stated in a recent interview with Matthew Kredell from onlinepokerreport: “There’s opposition to the legislation by a lot of female members of the Assembly, and the Speaker decided we should wait to get it straightened out. But now I know which ones to deal with and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to redouble my efforts, as the expression goes.”
Not only does his assertion appear blatantly sexist and erroneous, but last year when the bill passed in the Senate there was a roughly similar proportion of women as men voting in favor of the bill. Furthermore, currently female legislators account for just 34 of the 150 seats in the Assembly, equivalent to less than 23%.
More likely, Pretlow is having difficulty drumming up support for the bill for a variety of other reasons, such as concerns over problem gambling and the impact an online gambling expansion may have on society. Judging by Pretlow’s recent comment about women Assembly members, and his past failures to advance the bill, it unfortunately seems increasingly unlikely that Pretlow will be capable of bridging political divides and reaching the common ground necessary to see the bill adopted.

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