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Poker and sports betting has been synonymous with each other for years. And why not? Online poker and sports betting are both fun and exciting. For a lot of people, getting online poker legalized together with sports betting in New York is definitely a dream come true. For online poker, there is already a bill that has made its way through legislation. However, it has fallen short. On the other hand, sports betting was recently held about the potential of sports gambling in the state.

In a tweet by Gambling Compliance’s Chris Krafcik, he mentioned that “NY Sports Betting hearing yesterday, have to wonder if NYGA, in proposing a referendum workaround, is laying groundwork to package iPoker (which NYGA wants and which under pending NY iPoker bills, would not be subject to a referendum) with some form of iSports Betting”

Joining Online Poker and Sports Betting

Why exactly does joining online poker and sports betting make sense? Krafcik implies that legislature is planning to expand gambling within the state of New York. This means that the constitution requires an amendment if it wants more gambling. What can be the alternative if the state wants to avoid amendment process? That’s where a bill is required to be called anything but gambling. In fact, a bill should be called “a game of skill” rather than “gambling”.

In 2016, that was exactly what happened when it turned fantasy sports law into a reality. Lawmakers insisted that they could define anything they want as long as it is outside the scope of gambling. And for this reason, its rationale can also be applied to online poker bill.

It could be the direction that the state is trying to expand on. However, New York already legalized the state’s commercial casinos via a referendum.

If the same rationale is used on online poker and sports betting, it does make sense that both come together as a package. Especially if the state decides to legalize mobile sports wagering and not just the usual land-based betting option from casinos, then this option shows a great potential.

Pennsylvania was able to pass an omnibus gaming package last year. Also, there are also other states such as Illinois and Rhode Island that already has this law. By putting more than one gaming expansion fit in a bill. This can make it easier for different stakeholders to find a compromise. But of course, there are still some problems along the way.

For instance, there is an active lawsuit in New York that is planning to block the DFS law based on the fact that it should be handled constitutionally. This means that if DFS law fails, then there is also a chance that both online poker and sports betting will also fail legally.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania are already offering mobile sports in the later part of 2018 once the NJ Sports betting case in the US Supreme Court has been decided. Could this also be the fate of online poker and sports betting in New York given the reality that legislators don’t really want to go towards the constitutional route?