2015 is off to an exciting start in terms of US gambling legalisation, with political activity reported from Washington state, California and Mississippi (see previous reports), but there may well be another initiative – this one in New York – building momentum.
New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who chairs the state Assembly’s Racing and Wagering Committee, has hinted that he may introduce a legalisation bill this year, and that he expects Assembly hearings on internet gambling to take place in the not too distant future.
Pretlow is no novice when it comes to the intricacies of driving an online gambling bill, having introduced such a measure last year, teamed with a Senate equivalent launched by state Sen. John Bonacic (see previous reports).
Both failed due to lukewarm political support, however, despite a lobby and advertising campaign titled Let NY Play funded by MGM which is still running.
The odds are not good on legalisation this year, according to several industry observers, with even Pretlow and Bonacic uncertain of the outcome but hoping nevertheless to kick start some serious discussion and understanding on the issue.
The Empire State has been preoccupied for months with the issue of three – possibly four – additional land gambling licenses and may be averse to further expansion at present.
Other states still considering online gambling legalisation include Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, West
Virginia, Illinois and possibly Iowa.