New York May Be Next for Regulated Online Poker

March 18, 2013

A glimmer of hope finally emerges for poker enthusiasts of the Big Apple, as the Senate calls for the legalization of online poker.

For years, New York has enjoyed a reputation for being one of the states at the helm of the most stringent tax and business laws, and the more recent gun control laws. The world of online poker has been banned for a long time too. Now, though, a ray of sunshine has penetrated these restrictions promising a resurgence of online poker, as the New York Senate has called for the legalization of the game.

As stated by Jeff Klein and Dean Skelos, the principle proponents, online poker could bring in over $100 million in revenue for the state. This is a massive monetary amount that cannot be treated lightly, as it could be the much needed breath of fresh air in an environment weighed down by budget cuts and layoffs.

The legislation of the classic casino game couldn’t have come at a better time. Governor Cuomo is currently putting the construction of land-based casino operations across the state into serious consideration. Whilst a proposal necessitating no budget is a definite in for whichever cause, more so internet gambling, there is reason to believe online poker could become a reality in no time at all.

With the recent state court ruling of poker as, not a game of chance, but a game of skill, things are looking up for professional poker players. A game is considered illegal when it is ascertained to be a game of chance. Poker has set itself apart for decades, and it appears the state government has begun to get into terms with this. Besides, the potential revenue it could generate if legalized is a highly persuasive prospect.

The 1961 Wire Act is the one thing that has made the poker situation very muddled, what with its ambiguity when it comes to whether games like poker are categorized under the illegal umbrella of sportsbetting. However, it is likely to have little or no influence on the realization of online poker in many states like New York. In fact, the Department of Justice recently reinterpreted this law, rendering clarity to the distinction between poker and sportsbetting.

It’s about time government officials recognized the potential in the legalization of online poker. Focus has shifted from the outdated discourse that has always sought to assert poker as a sport that has nothing to do with skills, to now numbers and facts. This issue could be settled as soon as in April, when the fruition of legislative deadlines will arrive.


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