The New York State Senate recently passed a budget that didn’t include plans for legalized online gambling. Or poker.
That caused many in the poker community to assume the proposed bill was dead but, according to a recent story in Online Poker Report, legislation could still be approved before the end of this year.
Bill Favorability Rising
Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-33rdDistrict), chair of the Subcommittee on Internet and New Technology Chair, spoke to OPR to discuss the current state of A 5250, a measure that would deem poker a game of skill, not of luck.
The Democratic lawmaker, who assumed office in 2016, said he expects the measure which currently has 13 co-sponsors, to soon swell its ranks to “60 to 70 sponsors.” If his prediction comes to fruition, it’s not unreasonable to think New York could pass an online poker bill later this year, says Vanel.
“The next few weeks will show some traction for the bill. With enough co-sponsors, I like it to get out of committee and onto the floor. I think we have a good shot of getting it through this year,” he told OPR’s Matthew Kredell.
Could It Really Happen?
It’s been a slow — and mostly painful — process for New York’s politicians, who have tried to advance online poker legislation over the past few years. Both this year and in 2016-17, a poker bill passed through a Senate vote with flying colors. But, due to a lack of support, the State Assembly has never even taken up a vote on the measure.
Vanel, however, predicts this year will be different. The optimistic politician, who holds a law degree and pilots his own plane, has a history of never giving up. He began his political career in 2009 with the first of multiple failed attempts to get elected, until winning a seat in the New York Assembly in 2016. That attitude of fortitude is exactly what poker players in the Empire State need from their leaders.
Assemblyman Vanel said if the proposed measure gets through the Assembly, “it will have no problem getting through the Senate.”
New York is one of the key states that’s been considering online legislation. With internet poker sites operating in just three states (New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada), and a fourth state, Pennsylvania, getting licenses and operational standards in gear, the poker community needs additional states — especially those with large populations like New York — to join the bandwagon.