May 31, 2024 3 min read


NY Sen. Addabbo Shows Support for Online Poker Legalization

Although it was filed late in the legislative session, a proposal supported by the Senator seeks to spark interest amid the efforts toward online gambling legalization

For years, New York lawmakers have attempted to legalize online poker and so far, those efforts have seen no success. A decade ago, Gary Pretlow filed a bill that proposed the legalization of online poker in the state.

Although the bill didn’t gain traction, it served as a starting point for a proposal filed by Sen. Joseph Addabbo, one of the long-term proponents of the expansion of gambling in the Empire State. The Senator’s proposal, Senate Bill S9226, was filed earlier this month.

Currently, the bill remains with the Senate’s Racing, Gaming And Wagering Committee. Unlike Pretlow’s proposal, Addabbo’s bill focuses on “internet poker” in particular, calling for the legalization of games such as online Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em.

To authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which requires a significant degree of skill, specifically Omaha Hold’em and Texas Hold’em,

reads S9226

Considering that it was introduced late in the legislative session, it is unlikely S9226 to pick up much speed. However, according to Addabbo, who was interviewed by PlayNY, the bill was pitched in order to see “see if there was any appetite in it.” The Senator added: “It was updated to make it more accurate and to see if there was any interest. Maybe next year.”

Instead of Losing Money to Other States, NY Considers iGaming Legalization

The iPoker proposal comes in the context of another push by lawmakers in New York to expand the legal gambling options for customers in the state. Recently, a bill proposing the legalization of fantasy sports prop bets was introduced. The proposal is ultimately expected to provide prop bets for fantasy sports in particular, allowing the capitalization of the opportunity instead of losing such wagers to the black market.

In the same context, Addabbo spoke about the exponential success of mobile sports betting. Furthermore, he added: “you look for opportunities where New York is lagging behind, where New York is losing money to other states.”

At the same time, efforts towards online gambling legalization in the Empire State continue. According to Addabbo, it wouldn’t be frustrating at all if online poker is legalized before iGaming. He reiterated his concern that money is lost to other states for such activities.

In fact, a recently released report suggests that close to $10 billion is lost to illegal online gambling activities in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota. The figure represents approximately a quarter of the $40.91 billion lost to the unregulated sector across the country.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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