Posts Tagged ‘internet gaming’

Online Poker Bill Passes Committee Vote in New York

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

online poker in new york
Online poker has been talked about in the New York legislature since 2012 but wasn’t actually considered seriously till 2015. New York Senator John Bonacic first sponsored a bill to legalize online poker in 2012, but it never made it to committee, the first step necessary on the way to legalization. Senator Bonacic, chairman of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, said that he never intended to push the bill through at that time. He just wanted to get the ball rolling so that legislators could start discussing the pros and cons of internet gaming (iGaming). The bill was re-written by gaming committee chairman J. Gary Pretlow and introduced in the gaming committee in 2015, but it stalled and never made it out of the committee.

Fast forward to 2016 and it’s a different story. This time the bill, S.5302-B, sailed through on a 9-0 vote. The vote for the online poker bill did not take place publicly, with the entire hearing lasting only four minutes. Sen. Bonacic issued a brief statement on the legislation: “S.5302-B took a necessary step forward today with its vote out of the Racing Committee. The Bill now goes to the Finance Committee and I anticipate having ongoing discussions with my colleagues in both Houses regarding this bill as session moves forward.”
There now appears to be real momentum for online poker in New York. This comes in spite of the fact that there has been so much negative publicity concerning New York’s Attorney General declaring daily fantasy sports as illegal online gambling. So, it doesn’t seem that New York is anti-gambling online at all. They just want to make sure that everything is regulated to guarantee player protection. And, of course, to insure that New York gets its share of tax revenue.

The executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas, offered this statement after the vote: “The PPA thanks Chairman John Bonacic and the Committee for acting quickly to pass iPoker legislation through the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. If passed into law, the bill would provide New Yorkers who play poker online with a safe and regulated environment, while bringing in revenue for the state. We encourage the Finance Committee to move quickly to usher the legislation through the Senate, and also urge the Assembly to move forward with their respective legislation.” Pappas also said that “It would be a mistake for New York to wait for its brick-and-mortar casinos to go online. Moving Internet poker legislation now would establish an existing customer base of poker players for brick-and-mortar casinos when they open their doors for business.”

The Senate Finance Committee will next host the bill, but that hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Online Gambling in Massachusetts Getting Close

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

online-gambling-in-massachusetts

Plans for casino expansion in the state of Massachusetts are well under way. Along with those plans, consideration is being given to legalizing online gambling. Bruce Tarr, the state Senate Minority Leader has been lobbying the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to grant internet gaming licenses to the states’ two planned new casinos, Wynn Everett and MGM Springfield. The option to offering online wagering with its additional revenue stream, is thought to be paramount in getting the new casinos off to a good financial start. Without it, it is feared that other states with legalized online gaming, especially the nearby states of Delaware and New Jersey, will undermine the new casinos potential success. This proposal does not allow for new casino licenses other than those that have already been approved. It was thought that this would be a great opportunity to provide sanctioning for fantasy sports, but such a provision has not been addressed in the new proposal.

The construction of three new regional casinos and a slot parlor will take place over the next four years. The new $1.7 billion Wynn Everett Casino will be 24 stories and located on the Everett waterfront. The price tag for the new MGM Resorts and Casino has already increased from $800 million to $950 million before construction gas even started. MGM Resorts is also currently involved in a campaign to challenge the legality of Connecticut legislation that could potentially the success of their new casino. The state has hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to assist. The Connecticut legislation has granted exclusive rights to two Indian tribes – the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan – to open a casino near the Massachusetts border. Meanwhile, Connecticut doesn’t think that there’s anything Massachusetts can do about it and are expected to award a construction contract by December 15 for the new casino. They are currently considering bids from East Windsor, East Hartford, Windsor Lock and Hartford.

Supports of Senator Bruce Tarrs’ proposal for online gambling feel it would be an excellent way to attract more players. But others feel that the option for internet gaming would diminish the new land based casinos chances for success by taking away potential players. The coming year of 2016 could see big changes for the online gambling marketplace in the United States –especially if Massachusetts and other states currently contemplating legalization do vote to legalize internet gambling.