A new New York online poker proposal has put Empire State gambling stakeholders at odds with one another.

On its face, bringing online poker to New York state seems like a no-brainer; online gambling creates tax revenue and New York State desperately needs tax revenue. Unfortunately things in the gaming industry are never that simple.

On one side of the debate are online poker supporters who make a very familiar argument: New Yorkers are already playing online poker, so why not just let them play it legally? That both protects citizens from nefarious offshore gambling sites while putting coin into state coffers.

On the other side of the argument are those who say that New York’s gambling market is already too crowded. Supporters of this idea say that offering players a chance to sit at home and gamble would do more harm than good to the state’s racetrack/casino hybrids.

Not surprisingly, Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas embraces the idea of New York online poker. In a statement to the Associated Press he explained why NY gaming interests should just relax and embrace online poker saying:

New York can take comfort in the fact that other states, other jurisdictions are doing this and doing this effectively.

Given the anemic revenue from New Jersey and Nevada online poker, it seems that effectively doesn’t necessarily mean successfully, too.

The bottom line here is that if New York’s land-based casino/racetrack industry can convince lawmakers and voters that online poker would cannibalize their revenues and jobs, it probably won’t be happening anytime soon.


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