New York lawmakers pushing for legalised online gambling have suffered a setback for the third year running in their attempt this year to insert i-gaming into the state budget.
The failure means that supporters of legalisation will have to rely on the possibilities of stand-alone legislation passing…and those have failed in the past.
The state Senate included online poker and sports betting in its budget proposal, but by the Sunday deadline the House of Assembly and the Governor’s office appeared to have removed it. The Legislature is divided on the online gambling issue, complicating attempts to generate a bipartisan supportive approach.
Early reports indicate that Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who chairs the House Committee on Racing and Wagering, may not have invested sufficient energy to drive a proposal through. Pretlow is increasingly hard to read, supporting online gambling legalisation and even introducing bills, but failing to get them out of his own committee, and at times expressing doubts on the issue.
The Senate has been the best prospect, where Sen. John Bonacic has carried out sterling work, and his colleagues have passed stand-alone online gambling legalisation bills for the past three years, only to see them scuppered in the House or removed from the budget.