Tuesday, May 28, 2024

New York Senator Files Bill To Legalize Online Poker In NY

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New York Senator Joe Addabbo introduced SB 8185 in 2024. Addabbo wanted to help tackle the state’s growing deficit and bring revenue to New York. He addressed this issue with the idea of online gaming in the Empire State. However, Addabbo saw how hard it was for his bill to get the support it needed. That’s why the Senator is pivoting to SB 9226. Instead of having all forms of online gambling legalized in New York, Addabbo has changed it to just online poker in his proposed legislation. 

In Addabbo’s bill, the New York Gaming Commission would be responsible for formatting regulations for online poker. His bill was filed to the Senate Gaming, Wagering, and Racing Committee. Senator Addabbo claims that online poker is highly popular and doesn’t see why the state wants to miss out on revenue that could be made. Additionally, his legislation would allow up to 10 online poker licenses in New York. Each license would be valid for 10 years and would cost $10 million per operator. Revenue generated from online poker would receive a 15% tax rate. Significantly less than what Addabbo has been proposing in the past. Finally, his bill would categorize online poker as a game of skill rather than chance.

What challenges will SB 9226 have to overcome in New York?

Joe Addabbo’s SB 9226 mirrors Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow’s AB 1380. Both have an emphasis on online poker. Pretlow has failed in the past to advance similar legislation. Casting doubt on Senator Addabbo’s SB 9226. In New York’s 2024 budget, the absence of revenue from online gaming was apparent. Governor Kathy Hochul didn’t have much to say about the issue during the budget announcement. Signaling the legalization of online poker in New York could face some challenges.  

If Addabbo’s bill passes through the Assembly and Senate, the bill will eventually land on the desk of Kathy Hochul for approval. There’s a need in New York to continue generating tax revenue from online gaming. The addition of online poker in the Empire State could bring in millions of revenue. 

The measures that Joe Addabbo is taking are measured. Once he realized that trying to legalize online sports betting at one time was not the right move, he pivoted to one source of revenue. Online poker. His latest bill would only legalize online poker in New York and no other forms of online gaming. If state lawmakers see how profitable online poker is, they might be more open to the expansion of the online gaming market.

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