What would the US online poker market look like if the fourth-largest state in the Union offered up regulated online gambling? That’s a question that New York State Assemblyman Gary Pretlow is pushing hard to find out the answer to.
Pretlow is the sponsor of A 5250, a measure that if passed passed, would open the US online poker scene to an state with a population of approximately 19 million people. That’s more than most countries in the world and makes New York the fourth most populous US State.
This is not, however, the first time that Pretlow has offered up an online gambling bill to his colleagues in the Assembly, but observers of the NY legislative scene say that this time may be different. After all, Empire State lawmakers are scrambling desperately to find revenue streams to help fill up a $4.4 billion deficit in the state’s budget. That’s made the Assembly much more open to gaming markets such as daily fantasy sports – which the Assembly has already gotten on board with.
For Pretlow, who has sponsored two other online poker bills that have failed to move to the House, the third time’s the charm. He told Online Poker Report that if Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie can get the bill to the Assembly floor, he’ll take care of the rest saying:
To get it to the floor is all that’s needed. He’s not going to guarantee passage, but get it to the floor and I’ll debate it and get it passed.
Pretlow is also making certain that his colleagues and constituents know that online poker and sports betting are two separate entities. In his view, voters are much less likely to support online poker, and that’s the reason it’s being offered in a standalone bill.
That said, Pretlow thinks that the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling leaving the fate of sports betting in the hands of the states will actually help his online poker bill pass.