It’s very clear that things in the United States are moving towards a more progressive outlook, especially with the recent overturning of the PASPA law. Since that took place, calls for online poker to also be legalised and regulated throughout the country have been fairly rife – we even reported on a poker Hall of Famer raising the issue recently. However, in New York, it seems as though the idea of online poker has taken a more formal and direct approach.
Assembleyman Gary Pretlow, who has been campaigning for gambling-related topics for some time now, has it in mind to get an online poker bill passed through next month. Carl Heastie, operating as Assembly Speaker, has had a letter sent to him from Pretlow, that he has signed along with 51 other Democratic colleagues. The letter requests that Heastie puts the online poker bill to the floor to pass through a vote.
Pretlow spoke of this move, saying that all the bill needs is to be put to the floor so that he can then debate it and get it passed. Of course, this is not something that he is able to guarantee will happen, but he has been known as a fierce and persuading debater.
Could This Finally Be New York’s Time?
For the past couple of years, the Senate in New York has passed an online poker bill, although the Assembly has failed to do anything about it, meaning that such has fallen to the wayside without being discussed. What’s more, Pretlow himself was initially quite dismissive of the idea of legalising online poker, as he didn’t originally believe that it was a game of skill. In his past attempts at getting the bill recognised, he has always seemed to have a different excuse as to why key members wouldn’t support it.
However, at the end of the last session, he did make a big push for it, managing to advance the online poker bill through his own committee. What’s more, he did seem to have a genuine frustration when the bill wasn’t even brought to the floor for him to try and debate. Now, with the aforementioned letter, Pretlow is trying to show that there is a large amount of support behind the online poker market. He’s now trying to push the bill through before the state’s session ends on June 20.
As part of this letter, Mr Pretlow argues that if online poker did become a legal and regulated entity in New York, the state would have an extra source of income “to aid New York’s progressive initiatives”.
There won’t be any link between the sports betting and poker bills though. Pretlow’s bill for the former is set to be introduced next week, but he said that each of the bills that he does should “stand on its own merit”. However, he has stated that he believes the expectation of the sports betting bill being passed next month does put him in a better position when it comes to getting an online poker bill passed through too.