• Join Us
  • Follow Us
Poker News

New York Proposes Fresh Online Poker Bill

Written By: Maya Michaels | January 9, 2019 | Posted In Poker News

After various failed attempts, we now see a little hope for online poker in New York as a bill was introduced in the state Senate once again.

Sen. Joseph Addabbo has introduced a Senate Bill 18 (SE 18) that would legalize online poker for New York residents in 2019. Addabbo is continuing where Sen. John Bonacic left when he retired in the last term of 2018.

Bonacic was chair of the gaming committee and sponsor of online poker legislation and lead the fight for online poker forward.

SE 18 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering whose member is Addabbo and we are hoping this year will be more successful than the previous ones starting from 2013 when online poker became a topic discussion in Albany.

Last year’s bill passed the state’s senate but failed to gather enough support in the assembly to get put in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Despite failing to gather necessary support for the legislation to pass, many believe that sports betting stole the showin 2018 and that’s why online poker went to sidelines.

This year, they changed the strategy. In order for online poker to get a full attention and the consideration it deserves, the bill authorizes only online poker, not online casino or sports betting apps.

SE 18 requires the operators to pay a one-time $10 million licensing fee and implement a 15% tax rate on gross gaming revenue. Commercial and tribal gaming operators would be eligible for the licenses and prospective players on these sites must be both within New York borders and over 21 years old.

The bill allows the issuing of eleven licenses and regulations will be established for six months after the law goes into effect. The main difference between this year’s bill and the former ones is the inclusion of a “bad actor” clause that may be an obstacle for off-shore sites like PokerStars that took bets from US players after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, the chairman of Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee has been pretty open about his support for passing sports betting and even stated in December that he would give up online poker if it meant getting sports betting over the hump so it is a great thing online poker is on its own this time.

Sports betting legislation will be introduced later this year so online poker may just get the support it needs to become legal.

Leave a Reply