New York Senate and Assembly passed a non-binding version of the Budget Bill that included a statement on the regulation of online poker.
Senate co-leaders Jeff Klein and Dean Skelos stated that “the Senate supports authorizing and regulating internet gaming for games of skill, including poker, to reflect recent changes in the classification of these games.”
The proposed regulation reflects the recent court ruling from Brooklyn Judge Jack Weinstein that determined that poker is “not predominantly a game of chance”. The federal court ruling has opened the doors for online poker regulation as the game would not be classified under the terms of the Illegal Gambling Business Act.
The development of online poker regulations along with the remainder of the Budget Bill is expected to be finalized in early spring. The proposed legislation would add to pro-gambling efforts in the state legislature. Currently, the state is working on the authorization and placement of new brick and mortar casinos and the establishment of an online lottery system.
Poker Supporters in New York hope to follow the footsteps of Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey in regulating online poker. This budget bill is being viewed as the final push for online poker in New York until 2014. Many states such as Iowa and California have introduced similar bills that have failed to materialize or overcome opposition. Nevertheless, the process for interstate online poker regulation continues to develop throughout the United States.