Tuesday March 12,2013 : LEGALISED ONLINE POKER FOR NEW YORK?
A bi-partisan proposal during state budget debate
Legislative action on the New York state budget debate Monday provided an interesting bi-partisan proposal from two influential senators suggesting that the legalization and taxation of New York online poker may go some way to resolving the state's need for cash.
The publication Newsday reports that the Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will debate the budget over the next two weeks, with an April 1st budget deadline.
Gov. Cuomo has been campaigning for the introduction of three upstate non-Indian-run land casinos to help generate revenues for the state, but on Monday a new twist on gambling was introduced when Senate co-leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) and Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville) suggested that getting into the online poker market may be another channel for creating tax revenue.
The states of Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have all recently passed online gambling legalization bills into law.
Staffers for Senators Klein and Skelos confirmed that they had proposed allowing online poker, basing their suggestion on a state court ruling that determined poker is considered a "game of skill" and not a legally prohibited "game of chance."
The two influential politicians tucked the language into their budget, proposing:
"The Senate supports authorizing and regulating internet gaming for games of skill, including poker, to reflect recent changes in the classification of these games."
It's early days yet, and a lot more debate will be taking place, but it's yet another indication of the trend toward individual states legalising in the absence of a federal solution.