Will New York Be the Next State to Legalize Online Poker?Published March 31, 2016 by Elana K
The New York Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee already proposed a bill that would legalize online poker, and as of this month, online poker has been included in a draft of the state’s budget.
It’s been three years since online gambling legislation was passed in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, and for three years the status quo has remained the same. While California and Pennsylvania have their own proponents of online gambling, nothing has moved forward in terms of legislation. New York, on the other hand, is finally putting its money where its mouth is. The New York Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee already proposed a bill that would legalize online poker, and as of this month, online poker has been included in a draft of the state’s budget.
One of the reasons behind New York's impetus to legalize online poker is that the state recently came to an agreement with daily fantasy sports bigwigs, DraftKings and FanDuel - the companies will stop offering their services to residents of New York until the state passes a bill that will allow them to operate in compliance with the law. It is perhaps the measures taken to regulate daily fantasy sports that is pushing online gambling forward.
Another drive behind New York’s surge forward is that New Jersey will be holding a referendum in November on the issue of Atlantic City’s casino monopoly. If the referendum decides to break up the monopoly, new casinos might be built close to New York, which might take away potential revenue from New York’s own gambling market.
However, there are a few conflicting rumors surrounding the progress of online gambling: Some say that New York will wait to push the bill forward until the completion of a few new land-based casinos in upstate New York, which were authorized in December 2015. Others say that the lawmakers no longer feel the need to wait until the land-based casinos are finished, and will try to push the bill forward regardless.
It is estimated that the online poker market in New York can bring in more than $120 million in its first year. While New Jersey also predicted high numbers after its launch, and was subsequently disappointed by smaller figures, there is undoubtedly revenue to be made from this ever-growing and desirable industry.