Legislative measures to legalize online poker in New York have so far not seen much progress. However State Senator John Bonacic’s Senate Bill S5302B has made some headway after it was passed by the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee in February.
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has also proposed a related bill A9049 in the New York State Assembly but that bill is yet to see any movement.
Speaking on the progress of online poker legalization and daily fantasy sports (DFS) legalization in New York, Pretlow has stated that at this point in time, the DFS bill has higher chances of being passed than the online poker bill. The bill to legalize DFS was only recently introduced in New York but has got a lot more attention probably due to the fact that the DFS industry is much large than the online poker industry.
Pretlow is pushing for both online poker and DFS but believes that the current version of the online poker bill needed to be changed before it can be introduced to the assembly.
In a statement, Pretlow said
There are some issues there and we’re not really prepared to introduce legislation that’s going to go to the floor for a vote, so you’re looking at a 100-1 shot to hit the floor — a 1,000-1 shot to hit the floor. The DFS [bill] will hit the floor this year and I believe passage is better than even money
Pretlow said that the online poker bill has been facing a fair amount of opposition but added that the opponents were not new. He ruled out interstate pooling of player bases saying that each individual state has varying rules and regulations making it difficult to integrate operations. Pretlow gave the example of legal age which is 21 years in New York but 18 in New Jersey. Given these issues he has said that any solution proposed for online gambling would need to be New York specific.
Discussing the challenges facing the legalization of online gambling, Pretlow named age verification as a main factor. He stated that as of now there was no way to make out if an underage person was accessing gambling sites by using their parents’ credit cards. He stated that the current solution of depending on algorithms to prevent such occurrence does not give him confidence of mitigating such problems and they continue to stand in the way of regulating online poker in New York.