(Estimated population as of 2013 — 19,651,127)
With nearby Delaware and New Jersey legalizing online poker, it seemed only natural that nearby states would at least consider the issue. That’s just what New York, the Union’s third-most populous state, did earlier this year.
Back in April, Republican State Sen. John Bonacic introduced S 6913, a bill that would allow certain interactive poker games, to the New York Senate. Five weeks later, State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon) introduced A09509 in the state assembly.
The latter bill, which was similar to the first, sought “to authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which require a significant degree of skill, specifically ‘Omaha hold’em’ and ‘Texas hold’em.’”
"Presently, numerous New York residents are participating in illegal, unregulated and unsafe gaming operations which offer games of chance over the Internet," the bill states. "This bill will allow the state to license operators that meet the high standards set by the state and offer limited games of poker which require a high level of skill. This bill will require such operators to take steps to protect consumers, combat compulsive gaming, and prevent minors from accessing online gaming sites."
The bill, which would authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license such games by amending the Racing, Pari-Mutual Wagering and Breeding Law, made movement after their introduction, but as Bonacic said, such bills will help spur a discussion.
Indeed they did, including Darren Heitner’s article, Can Online Poker Become The New King Of New York?, in Forbes, which you can read by clicking here. New York may not be making big iGaming strides, but they’re clearly ahead of the curve. If other states, like California, take up the cause, expect New York to further explore getting their piece of the pie.