At the start of the year, there were hopes that the state of New York would be joining those states who have passed online casino and poker legislation. After the introductory period for the current year’s budgets in the New York State Legislature concluded, however, that did not come to pass. That means that, for the remainder of 2023 and into the next year, there will be no online casino gaming or poker in the Empire State.

Neither Senate nor House Advances Bill

On Friday, both chambers of the General Assembly finished presenting their budget recommendations for the rest of the current year. Those two bills – A3000 in the Assembly and R555 in the Senate – spelled out the priorities for the State Legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul for the 2023 budget. Neither of those bill presentations had any mention of online poker or casino gaming and it appears that was intentional.

The major driver for online gaming legislation in the Assembly, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, did not even include his pet bill for online gaming in the budget presentation from his committee on Racing and Wagering. In the Senate, Senator Joe Addabbo pushed in roundtable meetings for the passage of legislation, but it seems he was the only voice that was advocating for such legislation. The lack of action from either body means that there will be no movement on online casino gaming and poker in the state of New York for yet another year.

New York seems to be following the trend that California does regarding online casinos and poker – tease the people with potential passage and then yank it away. For several years now, the State Legislature has offered potential regulatory actions on the revenue builder, but each year they fail in the endeavor. Although they have passed sports betting legislation in the state (passed in 2021) to go along with their horse racing offerings, New York has failed to pick up the ball regarding online casinos and poker.

Major Move if New York Were to Regulate

There are many reasons why people are watching New York as a potential hotbed of online gaming. At this time, only a handful of states have passed online casino and poker regulations, including New York’s neighbors New Jersey and Pennsylvania. With other states opening up for online casino and poker play (such as Massachusetts and Connecticut), New York is in danger of losing millions, if not a billion dollars, in revenues to these states.

Additionally, if New York were to enter the online gaming market, it would almost assuredly become the #1 operation in the industry. With a population of roughly 22 million people, New York dwarfs other major states like Pennsylvania (13 million) and Michigan (10 million) in sheer numbers. By that metric, a stand-alone New York online casino or poker room could potentially draw in a billion in yearly revenues right off the bat (Pennsylvania drew in almost $475 million in 2022 by itself).

Then there is the potential for a powerhouse compact across the Tri-State area. If Pennsylvania and New Jersey (and go ahead and toss in Connecticut and Massachusetts) joined forces with New York, you would see a compacted player pool of over 55 million residents. Naturally, not all of those players would take part, but there would be a serious player pool built up for online poker operations and the online casinos would be humming 24/7.

It seems there are many issues that proponents of online gaming and poker have on their plate in New York that is preventing them from moving forward. There isn’t much hope for passage of any legislation in 2024, either, as those in the position to proffer legislation have their attentions elsewhere (New York is also looking at casino expansion). Each year that the New York State Legislature sits inactive regarding online casino and poker regulations, that is more money that will be going elsewhere rather than into the state coffers.


  1. Ashley Adams says:

    It is absurd to the point of lunacy that it remains illegal to play poker easily and legally in every state. Gambling legislation is such an amalgam of hypothetical and contradictory restrictions. Consider this. The state actively encourages us to gamble at the state-run lottery — promoting it with our tax dollars, even as it is the worst gambling bet there is. But I can’t compete in a game of demonstrable skill against players in other nations, even as I may gladly lose money at a slot machine at a race track.

  2. Earl Burton says:

    Hello Ashley!

    Completely agree with you. I am not sure, this deep into the 21st century, why these supposedly intelligent elected officials cannot see how much money their state’s are losing on the gaming issue. Not to mention the obvious “morality” crap that they keep pushing (they won’t allow gambling, but hell yeah they’ll allow lottery tickets or Church Bingo). There are signs of thawing, however, with the advent of sports betting in many states – perhaps that’s the first bricks tumbling down.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I also don’t get it why New York still waiting on line gambling
    Oh we’ll all I have to do is drive over the bridge find a Starbucks
    And I’m playing online poker where I’m helping New Jersey
    Instead of my money going to New York

  4. Carl Smith says:

    ITS STRANGE THEY COMplain about money and people moving away from the state. yet they continue to restrict what we can do and and were we can go . but they complain they also have no money. with the amount of revenue they can make it makes no sense to pass the bill it would benefit casinos localaly by adding more ways to include players. example turning stone part of world poker tour. but had to turn people away cause of the amount of players this could be elimitated to some degree with them being able to play online . plus a law to pass if they play here they taxed as well. seems the state throwing away revenue and giving us aonother reason to move out of state

  5. Dale says:

    The worst part is that all local Indian casinos in my area shut down poker rooms 3 years ago when the pandemic began and show no signs of bringing them back. Thus ive been unable to play in person or online!

  6. John says:

    I’m done with New York. Moving on the hell out of here like 3 people this year from my company .

  7. Anon says:

    This is especially frustrating for those of us who live in Upstate NY. Syracuse, where I live is nowhere near a “legal” state. I would love to be able to branch out to other sites and I send the ineffectual letter to my congressman each year to no avail. WAKE UP NEW YORK!!!!!

  8. Mike Besk says:

    The absurdity that we’re living in a free country and can’t play the game that numerous presidents enjoyed from the comfort of our own homes.
    The fact that the bill to criminalize online gaming was passed as part of as larger bill that had to do with port security makes it even more absurd. Add to that the fact that I can drop whatever I want on online sports betting and it’s almost inconceivable absurd!!!

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