NY Senator Tries Exclusive Online Poker Approach for Gaming Expansion

New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. doesn’t give up easily. Following multiple attempts at legalizing online poker, he’s back with a new iGaming bill that could finally succeed.

Addabbo Jr. is a Democrat from Queens who has won eight terms representing the 15th district. He is the son of Joseph Patrick Addabbo, Sr., who served 13 terms in the United States House of Representatives. Addabbo Jr. has long championed legal, regulated gambling in his state. He serves as the Chairman of the NY State Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering and was a big reason NY sports betting was made legal.

Addabbo Bill Narrows Focus to Online Poker

New York Senate Bill 9226, which was submitted by Addabbo Jr. on May 7, is titled “Directs the New York state gaming commission to promulgate regulations to implement interactive poker in the state; authorizes up to ten licenses to operate interactive poker; defines terms; makes related provisions.”

After failing to get support for prior bills that would have legalized online poker and expanded gaming, including casinos, in New York, Addabbo Jr. is limiting this bill to the former topic.

A few of the key points in SB 9226:

  • Online poker would be defined as a game of skill as opposed to a game of chance.
  • NY could grant up to 10 operator licenses for online poker.
  • Online poker revenue would be taxed at 15%.

Addabbo Jr’s bill has been submitted to the NY Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, which he chairs. The next step is debate on the bill, which could result in amended language or wholesale changes to the bill. Or, the bill could be approved out of the committee and sent to the NY State Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering for their consideration.

A common strategy to find approval for a specific issue after it is part of a larger failed bill is to place it by itself in a new bill. Since Addabbo Jr. has much sway with the Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, SB 9226 could be approved by that group and find a new audience of legislators for debate and a possible vote later this session.

New York launched online sports betting in January of 2022, and has quickly grown into the largest market in the United States. Through February of 2024, $37 billion has been wagered on sports in NY, generating $3.3 billion in revenue and $1.6 billion in tax revenue.

While many states have been eager to legalize sports betting to regulate the activity and receive tax revenue, many have been hesitant to permit online poker. Six states offer online poker: Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.


About the Author
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Writer and Contributor
Dan Holmes is a veteran writer and contributor for Gaming Today. He has written three books, including The Ballplayers: Baseball’s Greatest Players Remembered, Ranked, and Revealed, which will be released in 2024. Holmes has previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball.

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