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New York Voters Support Online Poker

Posted on by John Lathram

New York Voters Support Online PokerAn online poker bill recently introduced in New York has the support of voters and may help to sway lawmakers in approving the measure.

Senator John Bonacic unveiled the poker-only proposal last week and a recent survey undertaken by the Global Strategy Group that was paid for by MGM and Caesar’s indicates that 75% of New Yorkers back the bill. Only 18% of those polled took the view of billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and felt that Congress should ban Internet poker.

The three-fourths majority are in favor of allowing individual states to decide whether or not online poker should be regulated. That is currently the existing law of the land thanks to the DoJ ruling in 2011 that found the five-decades old Wire Act applicable only to wagering on sports.

Bill S6913-2013, a federal bill seeking to amend that 2011 opinion and ban online gambling was introduced to Congress one week ago. Supported by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and  Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the anti-online gambling proposal is tied to Las Vegas Sands CEO Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

That organization is being fought heads-up by the Coalition for Consumer & Online Protection, who were first to report on the New York poll that found three out of four New Yorkers backing online poker. Nationwide polls conducted previously to determine the entire country’s approval rating for Internet poker have shown mixed results depending on the group in charge of commissioning the surveys.

Should New York legislators listen to their constituencies, one of the largest in the nation at over 19 million, they would vote in favor of Bonacic’s bill, S 6913. Those same New York residents approved a referendum five months ago that will expand casino gambling in the state.

A whopping 87% of New York voters said that legalization of online poker in New York would not keep them from visiting brick and mortar casinos within their home state. That is music to the ears of state officials as four commercial casinos are in the works thanks to a majority vote in the November referendum. The new casinos have no affiliation with New York’s existing tribal land-based gaming operations.

S 6913 includes a provision to exclude so-called “bad actors” who continued to operate in the U.S. market post-UIGEA. But it does contain a clause that allows for combining player pools with other states, which would be more than welcomed by Delaware and Nevada. Those two states are expected to kick off the country’s first interstate poker scheme later this year.

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