NY Online Poker Bill Passes Senate Committee VoteMay 11, 2017 11:59 am
On Tuesday, a Senator John Bonacic (photo) sponsored online poker bill known as S 3898 was approved by the New York State Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 27-9, and will now be taken to the entire Senate where it is expected to quickly pass. In such an eventuality, S 3898 would then have to be approved in the Assembly before finally being signed into law by Andrew Cuomo.
With a population of 20 million residents, New York would become the most populous state to adopt online poker legislation, and would have the potential to give the country’s internet poker market a huge boost, especially as S 3898 allows for the forming of interstate gaming compacts with other regulated states. While the sparsely populated states of Nevada and Delaware may not be a huge draw, neighboring New Jersey with around 8.5 million people, on the other hand, could benefit New York’s nascent market enormously in terms of growing its player pool, as well as sharing its almost four years worth of industry experience with the Empire State.
Nevertheless, there is a long way to go before pro-online poker advocates can start feeling optimistic over the piece of legislation’s eventual adoption. Last year, for instance, S 3898 cruised through the Senate by a margin of 53-5, but failed to be voted upon in the Assembly after Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow raised concerns that online poker rooms may not be adequately equipped to ensure cheating did not take place on their sites. Having since undertaken a thorough review of the technologies involved, however, this time around Pretlow has said that he would no longer stand in the way of legislative progress, and as he explained recently:
“When I do sign off on something my colleagues feel that it is a good deal and they don’t question why I made a certain decision. They know that if that decision was made, it’s for good reason. So I don’t really see there’s going to be much opposition to moving this along.”
So maybe there may be cause for some guarded optimism that New York may in fact become the fourth state to approve online poker regulation this year, after all.