New York Moves Forward with Online Gambling – But Not Too Fast
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The states of New York and California have always been regarded as forward thinking. They are the bastions of financial activity and new social ideas. To some, these two states seem too avant-garde and forward thinking. What New York and California approve as legislation and enact into law is usually followed by other states in their respective regions. Both states believe in the concept endorsed by our founding fathers that law by regulation protects its citizens. The idea of the independent, my home is my castle, and I can do anything I want to my home is not an accepted concept in New York or California where community matters as well as the individual. So when legislators in New York took positions favoring online gambling in the state houses, those in the online gambling industry were encouraged. As New York goes, so goes the rest of the states in our nation. New York and California are the leaders; the rest of the states follow. It is, also, important to note that New York and California have the highest number of attorneys among all the other states in the nation.
The New York State Finance Committee recently approved a bill that might eventually lead to legislation legalizing online poker. Bill S5302 was originally introduced by Sen. John Bonacic in 2015 and passed the committee by a vote of 20 ayes to 8 nays. The bill must continue to the New York State Senate for consideration. The process of amending the bill will surely slow its progress through the Senate and onto the governor’s desk for signature. But the process has begun, and the online gambling industry is watching with bated breath. The odds for passage look good.
Another bill presented by Bonacic named Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Bill is intended to regulate the gambling industry in New York State. The DFS was functioning as a regulating agency in New York until it was shut down earlier in 2016. The DFS that had operated faced issues concerning legality. Now Bonacic’s legislation will attempt to reintroduce the DFS under more stringent regulations and operating laws.
The New York State Legislature may be facing an issue of putting the cart before the horse and may want to have the DFS in operation before the passage of laws legalizing any online gambling within the State of New York.
New York is a responsive state, and it balances the desires of its citizens against the possible consequences of legalized online gambling. There are several conflicting ideas fighting one another in the area of online gambling. The most important being the categorizing of what gambling is. Usually connected to the tourist industry because gamblers must eat, drink, and sleep when they travel to any gambling mecca. Now with internet connectedness, the gambler stays at home and saves the money normally spent on traveling. But it is a two-edged sword; will the gambler become addicted to playing online games. Will underaged players be able to gain access to the online games? The internet has had a policy opposed to any form of censorship, but abuse by susceptible youngsters is rampant. The moral standards for young people are changing but for many adults, the introduction of gambling online might be similar to young people having free access to pornography.
There are many offshore online gambling companies waiting to flood our shores with online gambling. With the proper legislation and implementation, it would be possible for the people of New York State to both enjoy online gambling and allow the state, itself, to profit in the same way the state has profited from State Lotteries. With proper legislation in New York, the residents can get what is certainly wanted, and the state by enacting firm controls on the industry can share in the profits. It is an idea whose time has come.
Many people travel to Las Vegas for gambling and shows, take a cruise offshore and enjoy the cuisine and the casino, or head to an Indian Reservation, which has been exempted from following the laws of the state. The demand is here for online gambling and the time to change laws prohibiting online gambling is now.