New York legislators are once again looking to push the online poker bill in 2018 but female members of the lower house are blocking the bill. The bill known as S3898 looks to change the online poker landscape in New York and is back on the agenda after members of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee passed the bill with overwhelming support.
The bill is trying to pick up momentum once again after it was killed by the lower house last year. As the bill heads again to the Assembly, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has issued a statement assuring the online poker community in the state that he will double his efforts to ensure that he bill does not end up the same way it did in 2017. Pretlow said his efforts to keep the bill from dying out in the lower house will be directed at overcoming the overwhelming opposition that comes from the female members of the house.
In a statement, Pretlow said,
There’s opposition to the legislation by a lot of female members of the Assembly, and the Speaker decided we should wait to get it straightened out. But now I know which ones to deal with and what I’m going to do. I’m going to redouble my efforts, as the expression goes
Pretlow believes that there will be two main incentives that will encourage New York to approve the online poker bill: money and pressure from neighbouring states. New York is currently projected to face a $4 billion deficit in its budget. And like many states who approved expansion measures of their online gambling bills, money from online poker industry will surely contribute to plugging the hole in the budget.
In addition to the revenue online poker can bring to the state, pressure from the surrounding states can push New York to act accordingly. With Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada set to share their online poker pools, there is a lot of incentive for New York to follow suit.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not included online poker revenue in his proposed budget for next year but Pretlow believes that once the factors are all on his table, the Governor will sign the bill since he has never really spoken out against it.
Pretlow is the author of the Assembly version of the online poker bill A5250, and is also the chairman of the Assembly Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. This year, the bill will be starting off in the Codes Committee, before heading to Ways and Means, and then through Rules, before it reaches the Assembly floor for another vote.