A bill has been submitted to the New York State Senate that would allow online gambling for the first time. The bill singles out poker as the only game allowed, and furthermore only two varieties of poker Holdem and Omaha. These are the two games that the bill´s sponsor has deemed to be the two least luck-based games, or conversely the two most skill-based forms of poker currently available online.
The bill still faces substantial obstacles including from tribal casinos. The influence of native American tribes vary from state to state and as many of them derive a lot of income from their ability to host casinos, they are almost always against any expansion of gambling within their state. In Florida, for example, the Seminole tribes pose a lot of political power and for decades have thwarted many attempts at gambling expansion. The tribes in NY do not have anywhere near the political power and this can only really influence their local congressmen. The lobbying and campaign financing done by the NY tribes is minimal.
In previous years, the NY State Senate was able to pass a similar bill by a large margin, however, it became bogged down and eventually pulled by the state house because of confusing over skill-based verses luck-based gambling. This year the sponsor of the Senate bill has gone through great lengths to clarify the bill to his house counterparts. so it appears the bill is likely to become law.
The bill is unique from bills from other states in that it allows any business with an existing gambling license to provide online poker games. In other states, land-based casinos have successfully made the case that only casinos, and not small businesses have the ability to fairly operate online gambling.
Expectations are that the bill will become law later this fall and the bill includes an instant upgrade to any business already owning a license for gambling machines. For this reason, it is expected that many businesses will be ramping up their services in anticipation of the bill passing.