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New York Senator Submits New Online Poker Bill

- May 28, 2015 By Nemanja L. -

New online poker bill introduced in New York

Senator John Bonacic introduces third online poker bill in three years.

New York State Senator John Bonacic has made a fresh attempt to legalize online gambling in the Empire State by introducing the third gambling bill since 2013.

The Senator had had similar legislations fail to produce any results in 2013 and 2014, but he hopes that S5302-2015 will finally regulate online poker in the state.

The proposed legal framework would allow New York gaming companies to work with operators in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, the three states where gambling is currently legalized.

Bad Actor Clause Removed

Bonacic’s latest bill does not include a “bad actor” clause, which is used to prohibit companies that violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 from applying for gaming licenses.

This should give the state of New York an extra edge seeing as world’s most famous poker network PokerStars would have no problems acquiring an internet gambling license.

Another major change that S5302-2015 plans to introduce is to exclude poker from the “games of chance” definition. Seeing as games of chance can currently be only practised inside casinos, such a change would allow operators to legally offer poker on their gaming websites.

In case the online poker bill becomes a law, poker would be regarded as a game of skill, which would make it legal anywhere in the state of New York.

$10 Million for Ten-Year License

According to the new legislation, up to ten operators will be able to receive gaming licenses, and seeing as they would have to splash out $10 million each to acquire a ten-year license, the state would see up to $100 million in immediate revenue.

All operators would also be required to pay a 15% tax on gross gaming revenue and would be regulated by the New York State Gaming Commission and Division of Gaming.

Almost all types of poker would be deemed legal, with a special emphasis on Texas Hold’em and Omaha, while New York operators would also be allowed to have players from other states where gambling is legal.

And while Senator John Bonacic and the team behind him have high hopes from the latest gambling bill, it is important to note that no hearing or vote has been scheduled just yet.

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