Will New York Legalise Online Gambling in 2018?

Back in 2013, it seemed only a matter of time before online gambling was legalised nationwide throughout the U.S. After all, this was the year that Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware sought to legalise virtual gambling and poker, while states such as California and New York were also striving to finalise and push through legislation.

This continued throughout 2014, with the Let NY Play campaign striving to garner support for the legalisation of online gambling in the Big Apple. This campaign was overseen by global casino operators MGM Resorts International, and few would have bet against this being successful within a relatively short space of time.

Several failed bills later, however, online gambling and poker remains an illegal practice in New York. This may be about to change, however, as 2018 could finally be the year that lawmakers pass a successful gambling bill.

Will Online Gambling Really be Legalised this Year?

It was last November that New York lawmakers announced that they were considering legalising online gambling, in order to create a lucrative and ultimately competitive marketplace. There's also a sense that legalising virtual gameplay could establish New York as a viable rival to the nearby Atlantic City, which would be a major coup for the Big Apple.

There are likely to be two strings to this particular bow. Firstly, there will be a drive to legalise and regulate virtual gambling and sports betting in all land-based casinos and race tracks, in order to launch a scalable implementation that will see the activity introduced over a period of time.

The New York state authority also saw a fourth major brick-and-mortar casino opened in February, in the form of the lavish Resorts World Catskills. This was the final development as part of a long-term project, and one that was initially approved back in 2013. It's thought that governors have been waiting for these casinos to be built to launch the next stage of its plan, with a plan to legalise online poker and sports betting within the state of New York (known as S3898) having recently been passed for review by the Finance Committee.

With experienced and motivated State Senator John Bonacic at the steering wheel, there significant momentum behind the plan to legalise online gambling, poker and sports betting in New York. If this can be maintained, we could well these practices regulated in stages over the course of the next 12 to 18 months or so.

The Bottom Line

With this in mind, it seems likely that 2018 will see online gambling (and certainly poker) legalised in New York after more than five years of campaigning. Virtual sports betting may also be regulated, creating a potentially huge marketplace that generates huge amounts of taxable revenue for the state.

Not only will this enable New York to become the latest state to monetise online gambling as a source of crucial tax revenue, but it could also trigger a domino effect throughout the rest of the U.S. After all, New York remains one of the most resourceful and influential states in North America, and one that often blazes a trail for others to follow.
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