Thursday December 26,2013 : POKERSTARS LOBBYING IN NEW YORK?
Online poker giant may see moves toward land gambling expansion as an opportunity.
US newspapers, especially those on the East Coast, have been reporting legislative moves to expand New York state land gambling facilities for some months, and on Monday the issue jumped into the headlines again with a speculative report that the parent group of the online poker giant Pokerstars – the Isle of Man-based Rational Group – was making overtures to include an online poker element in the state's largely land casino-oriented plans.
The reports allege that a Rational Group lobbyist, Stuart Shorenstein, met with senior staff members of New York governor Andrew Cuomo in November and urged them to consider including the intrastate legalization of online poker in their forward planning, justifying the proposal with examples of the current trend toward state-by-state legalization in nearby states like New Jersey and Delaware.
The outcome of the discussion is not known, other than a rather bland official statement from the governor's office that he was neither for or agin' online gambling legalization at present…perhaps an indication that he is keeping his options open.
However, there can be little doubt that legalised online poker would generate some tempting revenues to the state governor's plan to add up to seven more land casinos to the roster of gambling venues currently available through the state's tribal casinos.