The topic of internet gambling is staying out of the heated debate surrounding the Pennsylvania budget impasse between Republican legislators and Gov. Tom Wolf, which might be the best thing online gaming proponents in the state could hope for. No lack of disagreement, but its not about gambling Why is that possibly the case? As the two sides become more entrenched on their positions on other matters, online gambling may look like an easy win for both sides, eventually. Wednesday the start of the second week of little progress being made on a budget being passed was either a quiet day or things were heating up, depending on who you listened to. Either way, the end result was nothing being accomplished. That appears to be the status quo as the state has blown past a soft deadline (June 30) to pass a budget while Republicans and Democrats continued to find little common ground. Heres a non-exhaustive list of some of what the two sides dont agree on as they try to make a dent in a deficit that exceeds $1 billion:
Taxes: Wolf wants to raise both income taxes and sales taxes, as well as tax Marcellus Shale gas drillers. Republicans want no new taxes.
Education: Wolf wants more money for education funding, in line with campaign promises he made. Republicans would increase education spending, as well, just by not as much.
Liquor stores: Republicans want to privatize the state-run liquor store system, while Wolf has vetoed a bill that would have done so. A television commercial backing Wolfs budget started airing, as well, which is only likely to make the two sides dig in even more. You can watch that below:
Something they can all agree on? In the meantime, online gambling has not really been on the table of late. Republicans didnt send a gambling bill that included iGaming to Wolf, not did they include it in the budget bill. At the end of the day, online gambling as an idea isnt that controversial in Pennsylvania. Both Republicans and Democrats have introduced bills that would allow for internet gambling, and only one casino opposes the concept. Implementation and tax rates are the major stumbling blocks for passing iGaming regulation, but solving those issues does not appear to be a steep climb. And what do both Republicans and Wolf want to do? They want revenue to fund expenses in the budget and help to cut down the deficit. Online gambling could fit the bill. Between licensing fees and taxes, Pennsylvania stands to generate lots of revenue should it legalize online gambling: north of $200 million in year one, with more than that expected in a mature market. Thats a hefty bite out a deficit estimated to be $1.2bn. Rep. John Payne, chair of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, might know something that the rest of us dont. According to a report last week, he said online gambling has a pretty good chance of getting approved. That comment came despite any visible lack of movement on the issue. For the prospects of online gambling, that might be the best scenario: to stay off the radar and wait quietly for an opportunity to fill in a gap between the proposals from Wolf and the states Republicans.
When Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady opened its doors back in February, it was more casino than casino & resort. The casino was open, as were most of the amenities and dining options. However, the propertys 165-room hotel wouldnt come online until sometime in the summer. Rivers Schenectady provided a more specific date for the ribbon-cutting on the hotel, which will hopefully transform the property into a New York destination casino. Mid-July ribbon cutting for casino hotel During a job fair over the weekend, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady announced The Landing Hotel would be open for business in mid-July. Rivers will begin taking reservations in the coming weeks. Per a press release from Rivers Schenectady: The hotel will be a welcome addition to the casino, which has been receiving stellar reviews from visitors, and just pulled off one of the biggest poker tournaments in the regions history. Rivers Casino & Resort General Manager Mary Cheeks spoke about the casinos progress: The Landing Hotel General Manager Ryan Cimei chimed in as well. Jobs, jobs, jobs both for hotel and casino If you live in the Capitol Region of New York you may want to bring your resume down to Rivers Schenectady. The parent company of Rivers Casino & Resort, Rush Street Gaming, operates multiple casino properties across the US. Several Rush Street properties have been named Best Place to Work or Top Workplace by their team members. The Landing Hotel will create around 100 new jobs at the property. Rivers is looking to fill multiple positions, most of which are for the new hotel. The hotel positions Rivers Schenectady is looking to fill run the gamut, and include:
Hotel front desk supervisors
Front desk agents
Guest room attendants
HR support team members In addition to the hotel positions, the press release from Rivers Schenectady specifies there are still openings for:
Table games dealers / Dealer school
1 Senate passes gambling bill by 54-8 vote
2 Next stop, the online gambling-averse Assembly
3 Time is of the essence, contact your Assembly members Online poker supporters in New York are starting to get high hopes. This years attempt to regulate online poker is one step closer to law. The bill easily passed through the state Senate on Tuesday. Getting through the Senate has never been a problem for online gambling bills though. The next challenge is the real strugglegetting the bill through the New York Assembly. Senate passes gambling bill by 54-8 vote The Senate easily passed Sen. John Bonacics online poker bill, S 3898, by a 54-8 margin. This comes almost a year to the day after the group passed a similar bill from Bonacic by a similarly lopsided margin. This version of the bill is similar to past versions. Some of the elements worth highlighting include:
Online poker with the possibility to form interstate compacts
Tax rate of 15 percent
$10 million licensing fee
11 licenses available to both in and out of state online poker providers
Bad actor restrictions for companies which took US bets after 2006 Some of these elements are a little surprising, such as the willingness to accept license applications from out-of-state entities, not just New York casinos. It is not exactly open season on applicants though. New York will restrict applicants to casinos in other states with similar regulations. After the bill passed, Bonacic issued a statement about his legislation: Next stop, the online gambling-averse Assembly In the past, this is the point in the process where online gambling legislation tends to stall. In the past, key Assembly members put the brakes on progress. The hope this year is that Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow is going to change his once anti-poker tune. Pretlow previously gave a lengthy interview explaining why he changed his opinion on New York online poker after seeing the process at work in New Jersey. Since then, Pretlow has waffled from time to time. He mentioned push back from fellow Assembly members who are concerned about live casino cannibalization. The numbers from New Jersey indicate the opposite is true though. Online casinos help boost brick and mortar casinos, not bring revenue down. Time is of the essence, contact your Assembly members If Pretlow wants to get this message across to opponents of the bill, he does not have much time to do it. If the legislature wants to get this done, there are a finite number of days on the calendar before the session ends. Rather than just wait and see what happens, those in New York can get active. Contact your local Assembly member, and contact them quickly. Request a vote on the online poker bill, as this is the best chance New York has ever had at making online poker a reality.
1 Pretlow warned the bill was drawing slim
2 Assembly wrapped legislative session on June 21 The New York state Assembly adjourned this week. They did so without taking any action on the proposed online poker bill passed by the Senate. The bills death is not entirely surprising though. Key lawmakers hinted the legislation was drawing thin at passage last week. There will be no online poker bill this year. Even so, there is still reason to be optimistic, as it made it further in the legislative process than its predecessors. Pretlow warned the bill was drawing slim Before the bill officially died in committee, Online Poker Report spoke with Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow about its prospects. Pretlow chairs the Racing, Wagering, and Gaming Committee, where the bill landed after passing through the Senate. A critic of online gambling in the past, Pretlow changed his mind and tried to push through online poker this year. He spoke candidly about the bills future: The bad actor amendment went into the bill after news broke of a possible political scandal involving Gov. Andrew Cuomo. A member of his 2014 campaign allegedly orchestrated a $25,000 donation from ex-Amaya CEO David Baazov. Amaya currently owns PokerStars, an online poker site which would be adversely affected by bad actor legislation. Assembly wrapped legislative session on June 21 The bill never advanced out of Pretlows committee. The state Assembly wrapped up its legislative session on Wednesday. While the group managed to get through daily fantasy sports regulation in a similar spot last year, there was no such luck for online poker in 2017. Ultimately, this was not the year for online poker in the Empire State. Nonetheless, this year is not without its victories. Both Pretlow and Cuomo are warming to the idea of online poker in the state. Pretlow in particular is a useful supporter given his status as the chair of the relevant committee. Moreover, next time around New York online poker supporters will have even more evidence online poker is an industry worth getting into. While the state is not interested in online casinos just yet, the numbers in a new report from the iDevelopment and Economic Association paint a very positive picture of what online gambling did for New Jersey. If there are more studies shedding light on how profitable and positive the industry is, 2018 might just be New Yorks year.
1 Dealer schools include six weeks of training
1.1 Orange County Goshen
1.2 Ulster County Ellenville
2 School required in order to apply for Resorts World Resorts World Catskills may not have a first day of school photo its parents posted on Facebook, but the casino has education on its mind this month nonetheless. While the kids of New York state head back to school, the casino is launching one. More specifically, Resorts World is opening up three different dealer schools in the Catskills area. The casino plans to open its doors in March 2018. Dealer schools include six weeks of training Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties will all serve as home to one of the schools. These are some of the southernmost counties in the state. Cities in the area include Goshen, Monticello, and Newburgh. The casino is readying upwards of 600 people to work as dealers in the NY casino. With over 2,100 slot machines and in excess of 100 table games, there are a lot of job opportunities at the property. The table games classes at the casino will be free. The sessions run for six weeks at a time. Each course features 20 hours a week of instruction in all the major table games. However, some of the more complex games will require additional training. The county is pleased to work with Resorts World Catskills to help Orange County residents benefit from good paying jobs available at the casino resort,Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus told the Warwick Advertiser. Resorts World Catskills is a playing an important role in the economic development of the region. The first information session about the new school took place earlier this week. There are still two sessions for those interested in learning more about the school: Orange County Goshen When: 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 14
Where: Orange County Emergency Services Center, 22 Wells Farm Road Ulster County Ellenville When: 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 6
Where: Ellenville High School Auditorium, 28 Maple Ave. School required in order to apply for Resorts World The good news for interested applicants is that no prior casino experience is required. The less good news? No one can apply for a job as a dealer at Resorts World without completing the class. Creating good paying jobs was the initial objective of the Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act, said Charles Degliomini, executive vice president of Resorts World owner Empire Resorts, Inc., and after years of waiting we are close to realizing this important goal. Resorts World Catskills is the last of the four upsate casinos to open as part of the economic development project. Rivers Casino Schenectady, del Lago, and Tioga Downs are already up and running.