The State Senate of New York has approved a budget proposal that includes information regarding online poker regulations, however, the state has yet to legalize iPoker gaming. Yesterday, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed respective budget proposals that will now signal a series of debates as to how to resolve the differences between the two budgets, plus reach a deadline of April 1st.
On Monday, legislators should begin committee work to try and determine what the budget will include based on the vision of each group. The Assembly and Senate introduced bills this year that would regulate online poker gaming but the Senate’s budget plan is the only one that has language pertaining to iPoker. The same thing happened last year as the Senate included poker in the budget but the component was removed as the final text was created.
The Senate seems to be more willing to see online poker gaming come to pass in the state as they approved a bill last year with a vote of 53-5. The bill did not advance in the Assembly as Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow did not introduce a companion bill due to lack of support within the Assembly.
Pretlow showed a change of heart last month, stating that he felt the Assembly would not show much opposition to online poker legislation this year but there are still those in the administration who are opposed to the idea.
The overall budget for New York seeks to raise more than $160 billion. Online poker would only provide a small amount towards this overall goal with the potential to earn quite a bit the first year. Current legislation, if passed, would see online poker licensees paying $10 million each to get started, with 11 licenses available.
If poker does not make the final budget, there is still time this year. The current legislative session will finish up on the 21st of June, with legislators having the option to pass a standalone bill by that time.