New York Could Pass an Online Gaming Bill This Session

Since Black Friday rocked the poker world on close to six years ago on April 15, 2011, just three states in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have passed legislation to permit regulated online poker.

Last year, New York seemingly out of nowhere appeared to quickly momentum to potentially become the fourth state after online poker legislation introduced by New York State Senator John Bonacicpassed the senate by an overwhelming 53-5 majority. However, this momentum came to a crashing halt once the state’s other legislative body, the Assembly, failed to even vote on the bill and instead passed a Daily Fantasy Sports bill before the session ended.

Hopes for online gaming legislation are rising once again early this year. On Jan. 27, Bosniac reintroduced an online poker bill titled S3898 to the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee. The committee is expected to once again overwhelming pass the committee, which is chaired by Bosniac, before also once again being passed by the Senate. Online Poker Report editor Dustin Gouker reported that Bosniac stated that the bill is a “front burner” issue this year and could be part of the state’s budget.

What gives the bill a better chance to become law is there also appears to be support from the New York State Assembly, something that was lacking last year. On Feb. 7, New York State Assemblyman Gary Pretlow introduced to the Assembly an identical bill to that of one Bosniac introduced to the Senate titled A5250. Additionally, according to a tweet by New York political editor at FIOS 1 Andrew Whitman, the bill has support from Pretlow.

BREAKING: @JGPretlow – chair of Assemb. racing/wagering says he supports legal online & card room poker in NY – could happen this session

— Andrew Whitman (@WhitmanAndrew)

If passed by both houses, the bill would still need the approval from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to become law. It is believed this would likely just be a formality.

The bill if passed into law would enable the following:

  • New York State Gaming Commission empowered to grant up to 11 online poker licenses.
  • Licenses not limited to land-based casinos.
  • A 10-year license would cost $10 million.
  • Online gaming operators would be subjected to a 15 percent gross gaming revenue tax.

*Lead image courtesy of Wikipedia.org.

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