Online poker takes step towards legislation

The bill was introduced last month by New York’s Senator John Bonacic.

The Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering passed the online poker bill.

US.- Legal online poker is near approval in New York, as the Senator John Bonacic’s bill has passed the Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering on Tuesday. The legislation on online poker sector was proposed late in January, when Bonacic presented an almost identical project as the S.5302 bill, which he had introduced in 2015.

The new bill S3898 has obtained unanimous vote (11-0) this week at the special Committee, chaired by Bonacic himself, and now it’s up to evaluation from the Senate Finance Committee. The regulation pretends to legalise online poker modalities of Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em.

If it passes the second stage, the full New York Senate will be debating the law during the next months. State’s legislators had approved the first attempt of online poker legalisation last June, but the New York Assembly rejected the proposal without a vote.

Furthermore, a second bill, A5250, was introduced this week by Assemblyman Gary Pretlow in order to push authorities to set a complete regulation on the highly popular activity. Bonacic’s bill S3898 establishes operation’s conditions such as a 15 percent tax on gross gaming revenue, permission of interstate gaming compacts to combined players’ pools, only 10 licensed operators, who will contribute with a licensing fee of US$10 million each; 180-day grace period before licenses can be issued and games can start, and prohibition of unauthorised operations.