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New Yorkers dreams of playing online poker are still alive after New York State Senator John Bonacic, applied some red ink to his 2014 online poker bill, in readiness for another push through committee.

The bill carries the title: S 5302. Its predecessor (S 6913) was first submitted in 2014. It failed to get beyond committee. It was the second online poker bill that failed to gain traction in 2014. State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow also failed with his A09509 bill.

So What’s Changed?

In terms of the political landscape, not much has changed. Nothing that I have read leads me to believe that this bill will move much further than Bonacic’s last effort, but there has been numerous changes made to the bill.

The most eye catching is Bonacic’s decision to follow Californian Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer’s lead, and remove any reference towards banning anyone who took wagers from US residents post Dec 31, 2006. Just like the Brian K. Vaughan TV series: Under the Dome, bad actors will be more than welcome.

If you want to set up camp in a burgeoning New York online poker market, then a license will cost you $10m. You had better be quick, as there will be only 10 licenses, but each will last 10-years. Taxation will come in at 15% of gross gaming revenues.

Interstate Compacts Would Be Allowed

The new bill will also allow New York to enter into intrastate compacts with online poker rooms operating in the likes of Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and anyone else who can get their act together and actually launch a fully regulated, and legal, online poker framework.

That’s great news for Amaya Gaming Inc., the owners of PokerStars and Full Tilt, two brand names that will forever be tarnished with the ‘bad actor’ tag. The not so good news is Amaya Gaming Inc. will not be able to launch online casino games, if they successfully gain entry into the New York market should this bill become a success, because it’s an online poker only bill.

The bill now lands under the keen eye of the Chairman of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, which happens to be New York Senator John Bonacic – what are the odds? If the bill is one day passed, then there is a stipulation that states the regulations will be enacted within 180 days of that motion.

Numerous industry experts expected New York’s online poker industry to be up and running, sometime in 2015, but those views have since been extended a few years beyond that time frame.

Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.