The brand new York State Senate has included revenue from legalized, regulated online poker in its 2017-18 budget plan. But before you ny poker players break out of the ticker tape start dancing, a couple of caveats.
All eyes will be on Gary Pretlow this year, because the New York State Assemblyman has insisted he will throw his weight behind online poker within the lower chamber.
First, internet poker was also included in the very first draft of this Senate's 2016-17 spending plan and yet legislation did not happen. It was left out of the version that is final.
And second, neither the House nor Governor Andrew Cuomo has made room for on-line poker regulation in their own personal budget plans.
The next thing, then, lies in the Senate convincing the House to come up to speed with their plan, or at least the online poker part of it. Whether the House is willing and able is truly anyone's guess.
Poker in the House
Senator John Bonacic's internet poker bill sailed through the Senate last year, passed by an emphatic margin of 53 to 5. But Bonacic's counterpart in the reduced chamber, Representative Gary Pretlow, dragged his heels, grumbling about it being a '1000-1 shot' and, at one point, even questioned whether poker was a game of skill at all.
It was an astonishing statement since certainly one of the principle aims of the bill he was sponsoring was to reclassify poker as a game of skill.