We often think of New York - the 4th most populated state in the US - as a progressive and modern state. And while it is true in many cases, the Empire State has been lagging behind when it comes to promoting online gambling.
In recent years, more than five US states legalized online gambling. They now allow players to enjoy poker bonuses without leaving the house! But unfortunately, New York is not one of them.
For many years, land-based gambling was partially allowed. But even then, players had to travel out of state to get the ultimate gambling experience. At the same time, online betting wasn't even on the table.
But recent developments made poker players believe that things might change in the near future. What are the odds online poker will become available in the state? And what has brought on this change? Let's find out the answers to those questions NOW!
Gambling Bill Might Change the Face of Gambling in New York?
In 2013, the state legislature removed the ban on sports betting, making it possible for commercial casinos to offer their services in this department. But previous laws didn't address the matter of online gambling – until today.
Bill A03009 - which became public earlier in April 2021 – is 13 pages long, and it depicts the way officials plan to turn online sports betting into a legitimate source of revenue. Unfortunately, the document in question is not as coherent as we'd like it to be. That makes it harder to understand exactly what legislators want to change when it comes to New York gambling laws.
But in general, those are the key conclusions we can derive from the bill at this moment in time:
- The New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) will decide which sportsbooks will be licensed.
- At least two platform providers will be able to provide the desired services, paying a price of $25 million for the privilege.
- The bill leaves room to change tax rates in the future, but those will start at a minimum of 12%.
- Said venues must offer responsible gambling interventions to anyone who exceeds the $2,500 deposit limit.
Where Does Online Poker Come In
While it is clear the bill targets the legal status of sports betting, it leaves enough room for interpretation when it comes to other forms of gambling. And yes, that includes online poker as well.
In the bill, you might encounter the following passage:
“Section 9 of Article 1 of the New York State Constitution was recently amended and provides casino … that this provision is not contravened by a statute that authorizes the acceptance of a wager by an individual who is betting by virtual or electronic means and the wager is accepted through equipment located within a licensed gaming facility.”
The proposition uses vague language that might apply to all forms of online gambling - and not only sports betting. That means that in the future, this bill might provide legal precedent to legalize online poker.
At the end of the day, poker isn't all that different than sports betting. For once, both betting options attract the same type of players. Moreover, they can be controlled by the same laws and regulations. Therefore, if New York really allows locals to participate in sports betting, it isn't that hard to believe that online poker will follow suit.
New York can follow in the footsteps of neighboring states and legalize all sorts of online gambling options. Since states like Nevada and New Jersey already have a working legal framework in place, the Empire State will be able to copy their laws and legalize online poker with very little effort.
However, the future of online gambling in the state is still not guaranteed, and only time will tell what the future holds for NY poker players.