New York State lawmakers have yet to pass legislation to legalize and regulate online poker in the state, but at least one branch of the government is including the measure in its latest budget proposals.
The two houses of the State Legislature, the Senate and the Assembly, are required to pass a budget before the end of the month. This latest proposal from the Senate is just the beginning, with debate, negotiations and voting still to come.
The State Assembly’s Chairman of the Committee on Racing and Wagering and the State Senate’s Chairman of the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering have each introduced identical but separate bills to their respective branches of the government that would seek to legalize and regulate online poker in New York.
Senator John Bonacic introduced Bill S03893 to regulate online poker earlier this year and it passed committee by an 11-0 vote on February 15. The bill is now awaiting Finance Committee approval.
The bills would allow for up to 11 online poker licensees associated with the state’s current legalized casinos and racinos.
The Senate majority may have included online poker in its latest budget proposal, but the measure is not contained in similar budget proposals from the Assembly majority or New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Online poker was also included in initial budget proposals put forth by the New York State Senate last year, but it was eventually removed.