PRETLOW PESSIMISTIC ABOUT ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION IN NEW YORK
Sen. Bonacics bill may have been approved by the state Senate, but a similar triumph in the House is unlikely given time constraints.
The euphoria over Sen. John Bonacics achievement earlier this week in pushing an online poker legalization bill through the New York state Senate on a vote of 53 vs. 5 ) has quickly been replaced with a sense of pessimism over the measures chances in the state Assembly.
On Wednesday Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, chair of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee and the proposer of a similar measure in the Assembly currently at committee stage, gave voice to that pessimism, opining to local reporters that a vote this year is unlikely
Pretlow told reporters there are not enough votes in the Assembly to pass the measure, which would require each of the racetrack casinos to pay the state a $10 million fee for a three-year licence. That fee would be applied toward a 15 percent tax on the online gambling revenues that the casinos would owe the state.
At least one operator has already said his company would be interested in offering online poker; Jeffrey Gural, chairman of American Racing, the operator of Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs harness racetracks and racinos, said Wednesday he would probably run online poker gambling from Tioga Downs if it becomes legal in New York.
He added that online poker gambling is something that New Yorkers are already participating in through illegal operations.
"You might as well make it legal,” Gural said.