New York Assemblyman Says Sports Betting Will Help Legalize Online Poker

New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow says legal sports betting will be “helpful” in ushering online poker legislation forward. After years of giving good odds that he can pass online poker through the Assembly and failing to deliver, is Pretlow finally going to get it done?

In a recent interview with local news in New York, Pretlow said precisely that, implying it would “get done” during the next legislative session. In the past, Pretlow has claimed he was unable to garner enough support even to hold a vote on the issue because his colleagues view poker as equal to other forms of gambling.

For the bill to pass as it is written, Pretlow's fellow lawmakers have to agree that poker is a game of skill. New York now has Las Vegas-style casinos, but the law was allowing them was not easily passed. Historically, state lawmakers have been very resistant to gambling expansion.

However, one form of gambling lawmakers have been quicker to accept is sports betting. Pretlow says they view sports betting as a more lucrative opportunity, making it far more likely to pass. Not only that, but he believes it will move quickly through both the Senate and Assembly.

Pretlow's new strategy, as he explained to local news, is to show his fellow lawmakers that sports betting and online poker are both “forms of gaming” and are related. He plans to use this reasoning to clear up doubts for those who consider poker gambling but not sports betting, and bundle the two together.

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