Play online poker in New York
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Online poker status in New York
New York continues to move closer to legalizing online poker. However, the state is moving quite slowly.
The New York Assembly concluded its 2018 session in June. Despite two active online poker bills, legislators could not agree to let New Yorkers play over the internet.
If anything, 2018 was a step backward for New York. The New York Senate, which had passed online poker bills in the previous two years, didn’t even bother to pass this year’s version.
Sports betting took center stage
Truthfully, 2018 has been the year of the sports bet. The Supreme Court struck down the decades-old ban on sports betting in US states, including New York.
As a result, most states’ legislatures have concerned themselves with legalizing sports wagering this year. To that end, New York failed to pass a bill that would allow New Yorkers to bet on sports.
So, with regard to gambling in the Empire State, the situation remains the same as before. New York citizens will have to become more active if they want online poker and sports betting in their state.
New York legislative history
New York has long been home to several tribal casinos and racinos. However, in 2013, voters passed a measure to allow up to seven commercial casinos in the state.
So far, four commercial casinos have appeared in New York. They are:
- Del Lago Resort & Casino, Waterloo
- Rivers Casino & Resort, Schenectady
- Resorts World Catskills, Monticello
- Tioga Downs Casino, Nichols
Since then, legislators have been trying since 2014 to legalize online poker. Bills by Sen. John Bonacic and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have had varying levels of success in making their way through the legislative bodies, but ultimately, all have died.
The notable parts of the bills have been their proposed regulations. They have made several recommendations, such as:
- Up to 10 licensees may operate online poker sites
- The licensing fee is $10 million
- Revenue would be taxed at 15 percent
- New York could enter into shared liquidity agreements with other states
New York online poker FAQ
Why is New York considering legalizing online poker?
Millions of New Yorkers play on unregulated online poker sites that operate without basic consumer protections. Legalization of the game will provide a safe environment for players while generating significant revenue for state coffers.
Due to this, the bills have gained widespread support from powerful casino lobbyists and a bevy of legislators.
When can players expect a bill to pass?
2019, at the earliest. Because New York failed to get its act together on sports betting, legislators will likely feel more pressure to authorize that type of gambling first.
The Meadowlands Racetrack opened its sportsbook on July 14, 2018. The track’s proximity to New York City — 6 miles — means that legislators will have to watch New York dollars cross into New Jersey for several months.
Online poker’s best hope would be to piggyback itself onto a sports betting bill. However, it is unknown if such an amendment would be acceptable to pass.
However, New York’s land-based casinos have fallen short of revenue projections so far. It is possible that legislators could see online poker as a way to prop up those bottom lines.
Would New York offer online casino games?
Unlikely. Legislators have presented online poker bills in the last five years, and none of them have mentioned legalizing online casino games.
Would New York enter into to pooling agreements with other states?
Almost certainly. The proposed laws in the past have specifically granted that right to New York’s government once online poker itself was up and running.
Should New York legalize online poker, how long will it take for sites to get up and running?
Up to a year. Under the most recent bill, the state would not grant licenses for 180 days after the passage of regulations. The operators’ readiness level will depend on how long an approval process would take after those 180 days.
Would out-of-state players be able to wager on New York online poker sites?
Possibly. In previously proposed bills, geolocation enforcement fell under the purview of the New York State Gaming Commission. However, players would not need a New York address to play on a state-regulated online poker site.
Can New Yorkers make any kinds of online wagers?
Sort of. The legislature passed a bill to allow daily fantasy sports play in 2016.