Online Poker Bill Advances in New York

Several states in the US have been considering gambling expansions, including into the world of online poker gaming. One such state has seen legislation advance after a vote took place yesterday. Online poker bill S 3898, introduced by Senator John Bonacic, was passed within the New York Senate Finance Committee yesterday and now moves on to the full Senate to be considered.

The proposal has been able to move thru two Senate committees this year, the first being the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee in February. Bonacic actually chairs this committee so it is not surprising to see the measure move forward, at least from there.

The Senator has been busy within the past few years, trying to see New York state offer online poker gaming within its borders. It appears that 2017 may be the year to do so as legislation is steadily moving forward. Bonacic tried to see a similar bill pass last year and was able to gain approval by the Senate only to see the Assembly never consider the measure.

It seems the issue last year was the indecisiveness of Assemblyman Gary Pretlow who at the time felt that the online poker bill would not have enough support within the Assembly to be considered. Pretlow had stated that he was concerned about the status of poker being a game of skill and not one of chance. The Assemblyman was also worried about the prevention of cheating as well as keeping ineligible players from taking part in licensed websites within the state.

However, earlier in 2017, Pretlow created a bill equal to that of S 3898 within the Assembly, seeming to have changed his mind on the matter. Both bills call for certain online poker games to be legalized within the state, Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em. The bill also says that poker is to be considered a game of skill.

The Senate bill still has a ways to go before it can become law but it seems 2017 might be the year in which online gambling legislation is passed within the state of New York. Only time will tell if the bill will move forward or if efforts will be stopped yet again.

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