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New York Lawmakers to Get iGaming and Online Poker Bill in January

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New York has witnessed a remarkable surge in returns since the launch of online sports betting in 2022. Now, Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., a key figure in the state's online sports betting legislation, is gearing up to introduce legislation for the legalization of online casino and poker gambling in the upcoming legislative session beginning in January.

Online Gaming in the Big Apple

Addabbo has been a long-time supporter of gambling in New York, including a push to introduce an iGaming market. This move could mark a significant development for online poker, as well, as his bill will reportedly include its legalization.

Related: New York Mobile Sports Betting Yield Record $156.6M in September

With nearly 20 million people, New York could become a valuable addition to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), facilitating shared liquidity among poker operators in states like Nevada, Michigan, New Jersey and Delaware.

As the chair of the Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering, Addabbo highlighted that alongside legalizing online poker, the proposed legislation would allow New York to participate in multi-state agreements such as the MSIGA. He understands the importance of shared liquidity and what in-state and state-to-state tournaments can offer.

New York is currently grappling with substantial budget shortfalls, with projections indicating a staggering $36 billion gap over the next three years. This figure surpasses the initial estimates by $15 billion and includes a significant $9.1 billion shortfall for 2024 alone. Addabbo believes that the legalization of online gaming and lottery could offer a much-needed financial boost to alleviate some of the state's fiscal burdens.

Addabbo believes it's time to build on the success of online sports betting, an industry that has exploded in New York. He's optimistic that both online and retail gambling can operate in unison without one cannibalizing the other.

A Long Road Ahead

Despite the proposal, the fate of the legislation remains uncertain. Past disagreements among legislators on online gaming issues highlight the challenges ahead. However, the success of online sports betting and the pressing financial crisis may incentivize state officials to come to an agreement.

Presently, only two online poker operators offer shared liquidity, with PokerStars facilitating a shared platform for players in Michigan and New Jersey. WSOP.com engages in shared liquidity in Nevada and New Jersey, which initially included 888poker in Delaware until changes were made to the iGaming operator in that state. The addition of New York to the mix could prove to be a significant milestone for operators in a shared liquidity environment, potentially leading to substantial increases in player and prize pools.

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