New York is now being ranked one of the most gambling friendly states in the Union, but that doesn’t exactly bring it any closer to passing online poker legislation this year.
Where the States Rank
WalletHub has put together a list ranking all 50 states in terms of how friendly they are to gambling in 2017, and New York came in number 13 on the list. Number one was of course Nevada, where casinos are everywhere, slot machines can be found inside gas stations and supermarkets, and online poker is already legal and regulated.
Somewhat surprisingly, New Jersey is just tenth on the list, even though it is one of less than a handful of states that has already passed legislation legalizing and regulating both online poker and casino operations. The relatively low ranking is likely due to the fact brick and mortar casinos are only legal inside Atlantic City limits and not the rest of the state.
Criteria Behind The Rankings
Gambling friendliness was determined by factors including the number of commercial and Native American casinos per capita, gaming machines per 1,000 population, lottery sales per capita and the legality of horse-race gambling, among others.
The study also looked at which states were the most addicted to gambling. New York ranked 19th.
Some New York Casino History
In 2013, New York voters supported a constitutional amendment authorizing the issue of commercial gaming licenses in the state. A year later, licenses were granted to the del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, and the Montreign Resort and Casino in the Catskills.
The Tioga Downs Racino was unsuccessful in its bid for a license, but campaigned to re-open the bidding process and was given a full gaming license later that same year.
The new Tioga Downs Casino opened its doors in December 2016. The del Lago Resort & Casino came next, opening on February 1, 2017, and Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, NY opened up a week later. The Montreign Resort and Casino will open in the Catskills in the Spring of next year.
Before this, casino operations in New York were limited to racetracks with Video Lottery Terminals and Native American casinos.
Could New York Become Friendlier by Legalizing Online Poker?
However, with commercial casino properties now operating, New York lawmakers turned their attention to online gaming, and specifically poker, this year. At the beginning of 2017, two identical bills seeking to legalize and regulate online poker in New York were introduced to the State Senate and Assembly.
Unfortunately, neither measure made it into the state budget this year, with the Senate including online poker in its version, but the Assembly failing to do the same.
That leaves the hope for online poker in New York in the hands of the two stand alone bills, with little indication either the Senate or Assembly has any intention of moving forward with them in 2017.