It was at the beginning of June that we reported on New York’s online poker bill managing to get a new lease on life. At this time, the bill was sent from the Finance Committee and into the Rules Committee. Yet, because of how late in the legislative year this all took place, things were looking very pressing for the bill to actually come under consideration by the Assembly. As it stands, the legislative season ended before anything further could happen with the online poker bill. Therefore, those who have been looking forward to some changes will need to wait until 2019 before the potential for anything occurs again.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the New York poker world. Towards the end of May 2018, the MGM Resorts group made the announcement that a deal had been reached for it to acquire Empire City Casino. This has been active as a slots and racetrack establishment, based just 15 miles outside of Times Square. The MGM brand has been a long-time supporter when it comes to online poker, standing firmly beside Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who has been fighting for its legalisation.
As well as this, the US Supreme Court ruled in the middle of May that sports betting would be legalised in all states, giving them the nod to begin proceedings to incorporate them into their gambling industries, if they so wish. Yet, New York also failed in managing to pass a sports betting bill this year.
How Does New York Advance Now?
There’s very little that New York is able to do until 2019’s legislative season begins, meaning that for the remainder of 2018, online poker and sports betting won’t be available in The Empire State. Mr Pretlow has, in the past, given multiple comments relating to the legalisation of online poker in New York. Yet, it was in the spring of 2018 that he stated that online poker would be something that New York would soon be witnessing. In fact, he went as far as to say that “we are going to get it done”, in reference to the online poker bill.
Naturally, as everyone has seen, that did not happen in 2018’s legislative year. Reports say that Pretlow believed he only needed another eight votes from the Assembly to be able to get the bill approved and bring online poker to New York. Of course, Pretlow often talks a big game. Yet, he has been instrumental in managing to get the bill processed through the Senate on several occasions. Unfortunately, it has never made it to the Assembly before – with members of the Assembly having never even taken a vote on passing it through.
Time will tell what 2019 will bring forth for the bill. It doesn’t seem as though the Assembly has been in any particular rush to move on to the subject of online poker in the years preceding this one, so things haven’t seemed so positive for its approval. Yet, with the recent changes in US laws and the aforementioned moves in New York, who knows? Perhaps 2019 will be the year for online poker!