NY Online Poker Bill Introduced

New York Online Poker Takes Step Forward With Introduction Of S 5302

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New York State Senator John Bonacic (R-42) has introduced a bill that would bring regulated online poker to the Empire State.

Full text of the bill (S 5302) is available here. You can track the bill’s progress here.

This marks the second consecutive year that Bonacic has introduced online poker legislation. HIs attempt in 2014 – matched by companion legislation in the Assembly –  failed to move beyond committee.

Inside the bill

The bill is largely similar to the one introduced by Bonacic in 2014.

One key difference: this version lacks a so-called “bad actor clause” that would preclude companies, individuals or assets involved in accepting wagers from the U.S. after UIGEA from participating in New York’s regulated market.

Other key points:

  • Activity overseen by the New York State Gaming Commission and Division of Gaming.
  • $10mm license fee.
  • Licenses good for 10 years.
  • Total number of operator licenses capped at 10.
  • Tax rate of 15% of GGR.
  • Authorized games include Omaha and Texas Hold’em, along with “any other poker game that the commission determines is the material equivalent of either of those.”
  • Regulations and licenses to be promulgated and issued within 180 days of law’s passage.
  • Operators and “significant vendors” both require licensing by the Commission.
  • Specifically contemplates and authorizes interstate compacts.
  • Clarifies that offering online gambling without a license as required is a criminal offense.

Full text here.

Uncertain outlook for NY online poker

While the introduction of a bill is a step in the right direction, there’s plenty to suggest that moving online poker ahead remains a challenging task.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, head of the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering told GamblingCompliance in January that “online poker will not happen within the year, but there will probably be hearings.”

Pretlow reiterated that general sentiment in April at iGaming North America and implied a lack of faith in the technological processes surrounding age and identity verification.

- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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