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New York’s online poker bill hits the wall

By Caroline Watson
Although New York’s attempt to legalise online poker has taken several steps in the right direction over the past few weeks, the proposed bill has come up against yet another hurdle that will delay it until 2018.

Despite the fact that Senator John Bonacic’s online poker bill, S3898 recently passed the State Senate by a 54.8 vote, the New York Assembly do not seem to have the same intentions with the proposed piece of legislation.

The bill was discussed by Assembly Democrats last week, however it does not appear that any decisive movements will be made during this legislative session for the second consecutive year, ending on Wednesday 21 June.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow explained that the attempt to legalise online poker across the state faced some opposition, therefore the bill would not be given the green light in 2017. It was not made entirely clear as to what reasons were provided to oppose the bill.

Thus, the Empire State Assembly will not vote on the online gambling proposal as “there was some opposition; we’ll pick it up next year more than likely”, as Pretlow stated.

Reportedly, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is now opposed to the online poker bill and may prevent it from progressing any further his session.

New York has three commercial casinos, along with nine racinos and 11 tribal casinos, with online poker opponents claiming the state already has “enough” gambling.

With only just over 24 hours left in this year’s legislative session, it seems that New York is at least another year off passing any bill that would legalise online poker.

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