owever, its future is still unclear as the state Assembly could decide to once again shelve the proposed bill as it did last year.
This is the second time when the bill has been presented to local legislature. In 2016, the piece of online poker legislation was passed by the local Senate, but later failed to find the support of the Assembly, as the latter never really considered the bill. The 2016 legislative session ended without a vote on last year’s online poker bill which was also sponsored by Senator Bonacic.
The new piece of legislation was re-introduced at the beginning of 2017 by the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.
The bill that would make online poker legal and regulate it in the New York state, has passed the Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 27 to 9.
Previously, it passed the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee by a unanimous vote of 11 to 0.
The new bill S 3898 seeks to classify certain types of poker as games of skill and make them legal in the state of New York. Under the proposed piece of legislation, Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em should be considered games of skill. What is more, the state would be able to enter into interstate gaming compacts to combine player pools under the new piece of legislation.
Also, under the provisions of the bill, the New York State Gaming Commission would be granted with the power and responsibility to handle regulations, licensing procedures and scrutiny over the potential gambling operators in the state. A 15% tax on operators’ gross gaming revenue is also included in the bill, which would allow a maximum of ten licensed operators to run their services in the state.
The operators’ licenses would be available for a period of ten years, and the companies would be required to pay a licensing fee of USD 10M each.
Making certain types of poker legal across the state of New York is not the only aim of S 3898 bill. The piece of legislation also seeks to implement certain standards in the state, and also protect local players from fraud, gambling addictions and under-age play.
Under the bill’s provisions, a total of 15% of the local gambling companies and operators’ gross revenue would be returned to the state in the form of taxes.
Despite the bill’s failure in 2016, this year optimism for the future of the online poker bill remains. The New York Assembly has shown some signs of progress, especially after in February Assemblyman Gary Pretlow explained he did not see much opposition for the bill to move along. At that time, Pretlow hinted that he would provide his support to the S 2898 bill, which improves the new piece of legislation’s odds.
Also, back in March, a provision regarding the online poker legislation was included in the Senate budget, but was later removed. The local legislature, however, seeks to handle all issues related to online poker as its own.