Poker Legislation for Online Gambling is Being Introduced in New York

Recently, Senator John Bonacic, of New York, revived efforts at legalizing online poker in the state with the introduction of S-3898. This measure could amend the current laws of the state allowing certain interactive poker games that could include Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em, Mr. Bonacic is the chairman of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering committee wherefore the bill has been referred to.

Mr. Bonacic had introduced a similar bill the previous year, bill number S-5302, but it was unsuccessful. The bill passed through the state’s Senate at the end of the 2015-2016’s legislative session, however, it was not voted on by the state’s Assembly. The new measure, of S-3898, would have allowed as much as 11 online poker licenses that would have been obtained with the licensees that are obligated to operate a class III gaming venue or a video lottery gaming. These operators have to partner with a vendor with regards to the technology aspect of online poker and a third party would have to pass certain ‘suitability’ hurdles.

Licensed holders of online poker would be required to pay a fee of $10 million, this is a one-time fee that is to be used for future tax obligations for operators of a 15% gross gaming revenue.

Online poker licenses are to be valid for 10 years. It will also be allowed for the state to be able to cut liquidity sharing deals with other states offering online gambling. Currently this could include Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, it must be noted that only Nevada and Delaware have involved themselves in liquidity sharing.

It is expected that this new bill will be moved quickly through the Senate, however, it is unclear if the bill will be moved forward in Assembly. Gary Pretlow, chairman of the Assembly gaming committee met with official in the fall of 2016 at the New Jersey Division of the Gaming Enforcement, he learned first-hand about the regulatory and oversight procedures that are used there. Approximately a year ago, Mr. Pretlow introduced the online poker bill AB9049.